Scope. This work treats all federally listed species of vascular plants and lichens occurring in North Carolina, as well as their congeners or otherwise morphologically similar species. There are several hundred state listed species in North Carolina, but state listed species are only treated here if they occur in a genus that includes at least one federally listed species in the State. An exception of note is Carex--the largest genus of vascular plants in North Carolina--for which only the federally listed species is treated. Strictly speaking of course, lichens are not plants. We include the single federally listed lichen (in North Carolina) here in part based on historical expectations. This work is not intended as an introduction to plant identification or basic botany. Instead it has been developed as a resource for enhanced field identification and survey for advanced users, including practicing environmental professionals, agency biologists, and higher level students.
Status codes (e.g., E [endangered], T [threatened], G1 [globally critically imperiled], S1 [critically imperiled in the state], etc.) follow the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the NC Plant Conservation Program, and the NC Natural Heritage Program. For an explanation for each code, please see the NC Natural Heritage Program [external link].
Identification keys are accessed through the "list" page. This page contains a list of all genera that include at least one federally listed vascular plant of lichen species in North Carolina. You can return to this page from anywhere in the resource, by clicking on the "list" link in any page header.To facilitate their location in each respective key, the scientific names of all listed species, whether listed at the state or federal level, are provided in black, bold font in all keys. Federally listed species are additionally identified by an asterisk (e.g., Lindera melissifolia*). Species not listed at either federal or state level are given in gray, bold font (e.g., Geum vernum). Hyperlinks are recognized by words in gray, regular (not bolded) font (e.g., Aeschynomene).
Please note that this work employs dichotomous keys that are expandable or collapsible by individual leads. To do this, simply click on the "+" following a species name (Fig. 1). Expanding a lead will make available all images associated with the species treated in lead, as well as applicable distribution maps, and notes on abundance, habitat, physiographic province in North Carolina (i.e., Mt=Mountains, Pd=Piedmont, CP=Coastal Plain), and, for federally listed species, survey window. To close an individually expanded lead, simply click the "-" following the species name. There is no limit to how many leads may be expanded at once.
Fig. 1. Screenshot of the key to Lindera in North Carolina, selectively expanded to show subtending content for L. melissifolia, including images, distribution maps, and notes on abundance, habitat, physiographic province, and optimum survey window.
Because surveys for many listed species must be conducted at precise times during the year to allow conclusive identification (i.e., usually when individual species are in flower), a list of optimum survey windows for each federally listed taxon is provided (accessible from the "windows" link at the top of each page).
Future. We consider this work a "living" resource and seek to continue to add images, tweak content, improve keys, etc. over time. Future versions will be identified by sequentially increasing version numbers.
Copyright. Re-use of any image in this work, for any purpose what-so-ever, is prohibited without the express written permission of the copyright owner. Unless otherwise noted, the photographs in this work were taken by Dr. A. Krings (North Carolina State University). Numerous contributors kindly provided additional images. A list of these can be found in the acknowledgment section of the work. For permission to re-use any image, please contact the copyright owner directly.
Suggested citation. Please cite this work as: Krings, A., S. Goyette, D. Suiter, and M. Samuels. 2012–present. Rare plants of North Carolina: Federally listed species and their congeners. Version 1.0. North Carolina State University, Raleigh. [http://herbarium.ncsu.edu/rare/; (date accessed), if online version used].