Carex striatula - Michx.
Lined Sedge
Other Common Names: lined sedge
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Carex striatula Michx. (TSN 39822)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.130223
Element Code: PMCYP03D20
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Sedge Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Cyperaceae Carex
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Carex striatula
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 01Aug1994
Global Status Last Changed: 05Apr1985
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Carex striatula is common and secure throughout its range in the southeastern United States. It is largely unthreatened across most of its relatively large range and occurs incidentally on many protected lands.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4?

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNR), Arkansas (S3S4), Connecticut (SU), Delaware (S3), District of Columbia (SNR), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S4?), Illinois (SH), Indiana (SNR), Kentucky (S3S4), Louisiana (SNR), Maryland (S3), Michigan (SNR), Mississippi (S5), New Jersey (S3S4), New York (SH), North Carolina (S4), Ohio (SH), Oklahoma (S1), Pennsylvania (S4), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (SNR), Texas (SNR), Virginia (S4S5), West Virginia (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Carex striatula is an Eastern Gulf Coastal Plain and Gulf Coastal Plain species that does not commonly occur within glaciated territory or west of the Mississippi River. It ranges from the eastern third of Texas (Jones 1994), northeast through Tennessee, Kentucky and Long Island, New York and south to Florida and the Gulf states (Bryson 1980). It occurs much less commonly inland in the Piedmonts and Appalachian Mountains. There are no records for occurrences south of the United States/Mexico border, and Gaddy (1994) is very doubtful that is would occur any further south.

The range for C. striatula is very similar to the botanically comparable C. styloflexa, however C. striatula ranges further inland on the continent (Bryson 1994).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Sufficiently common to remain untracked throughout the majority of its range. There are several documented populations on the periphery of its range where it is rare: New York (one), Delaware (one), Ohio (one), Arkansas (six - twenty). As of 1994, although the species is known from only a few counties in Arkansas, the species is probably more common in the state than is thought, since it also occurs in Louisiana and Texas. It is common in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Virginia, Maryland, and the Florida panhandle (Bryson 1994). In Tennessee, there are occurrence records for 32 counties (Robison 1993). In Georgia, the species occurs in at least four counties in the southwest part of the state and in three counties in the north. It is presumed to be fairly common in the state but lacks inventory. Most occurrences are in jurisdictional wetland areas where they are not threatened (Allison 1994). The species does not occur in Missouri (Ladd 1994).

Population Size Comments: The species is most abundant in the southeastern states and declines in numbers on the edge of its range (Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission 1992, Ohio Department of Natural Resources 1992). It occurs in sizeable populations but is scattered in woods, prefers slopes, and is not a major species of the understory (Bryson 1994).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: The global population of C. striatula, although limited to the southeastern United States, is quite secure and unthreatened. This species does well in areas where there is minor disturbance in the canopy, such as treefalls; however, it will not tolerate clear-cutting primarily because of the consequent drying of the habitat. It will also not tolerate dense shade, such as that provided by invaders like kudzu. In addition, small localized soil disturbances are favorable; however, extensive unnatural disturbance, such as that caused by bulldozing, is not favorable (Bryson 1994, Gaddy 1994).

In areas where the deer population is too high, as in the vicinity of the only Ohio population, grazing may be a threat. Overgrazing by livestock could also be a threat for some populations. Changes in hydrology that cause frequent inundations of water would harm a population. In addition, too much competition with native or exotic invaders may crowd out a population.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: The species appears stable and is possibly increasing due to its ability to colonize areas of moderate disturbance; occurrences are showing up along logging roads and in selectively cut areas.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: C. striatula is not a very fragile species. While it will not hold up to too much woody encroachment or drying of the habitat, it sometimes appears to be more common along disturbed areas such as logging roads than in adjacent natural habitat. Although not fragile, it is not particularly invasive compared to C. blanda (Bryson 1994).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Carex striatula is an Eastern Gulf Coastal Plain and Gulf Coastal Plain species that does not commonly occur within glaciated territory or west of the Mississippi River. It ranges from the eastern third of Texas (Jones 1994), northeast through Tennessee, Kentucky and Long Island, New York and south to Florida and the Gulf states (Bryson 1980). It occurs much less commonly inland in the Piedmonts and Appalachian Mountains. There are no records for occurrences south of the United States/Mexico border, and Gaddy (1994) is very doubtful that is would occur any further south.

The range for C. striatula is very similar to the botanically comparable C. styloflexa, however C. striatula ranges further inland on the continent (Bryson 1994).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MI, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
DE Kent (10001), New Castle (10003), Sussex (10005)
MD Allegany (24001), Baltimore County (24005), Caroline (24011), Dorchester (24019)*, Frederick (24021)*, Harford (24025)*, Howard (24027), Montgomery (24031), Queen Annes (24035), Talbot (24041)*, Washington (24043)*, Wicomico (24045), Worcester (24047)
OH Lawrence (39087)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Brandywine-Christina (02040205)+, Broadkill-Smyrna (02040207)+, Chincoteague (02040303)+, Chester-Sassafras (02060002)+, Gunpowder-Patapsco (02060003)+, Choptank (02060005)+, Cacapon-Town (02070003)+, Conococheague-Opequon (02070004)+*, Middle Potomac-Catoctin (02070008)+*, Monocacy (02070009)+*, Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan (02070010)+, Western Lower Delmarva (02080109)+, Pokomoke-Western Lower Delmarva (02080111)+
05 Raccoon-Symmes (05090101)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Perennial woodland sedge; grows in tufts from short rhizomes; stems sharply triangular with white or light brown bases; pistillate spikelets on short to elongate peduncles, scales acute, perigynia: 6-18, scarcely overlapping, 3.5-5mm, many-nerved and 2-ribbed, oval-shaped but tapering to an ill-defined, out-curved beak.
General Description: Carex striatula is a common and occasionally invasive perennial sedge of dry to slightly mesic deciduous woodlands. It grows as tufts up to 5-6 inches in diameter, but typically not over 3 inches. There are generally 4-10 stems per plant, although there may be up to 20-30 (Bryson 1994). The stems grow obliquely upward and are sharply triangular. The sheath that surrounds the stem at the base is white or light brown. The inflorescence contains a terminal pollen producing (staminate) spike and 2 or usually 3 pistillate spikes below the staminate spike. The small, dry indehiscent fruit is a 3-angled achene. (Gleason and Cronquist 1991).
Technical Description: This sedge is described by Gleason and Cronquist (1991) as follows: "Tufted, 2-6 dm; fertile stems ascending, sharply triangular but not winged, smooth or nearly so; basal sheaths white or light brown; leaves of the sterile shoots 7-14 mm wide, of the fertile shoots somewhat narrower; terminal spike staminate, 2.5-3.5 cm, on a peduncle 0.5-12 cm; pistillate spikes 2 or usually 3, 2-6 cm, slender, on short to elongate ascending peduncles, scattered but none basal; pistillate scales acute to short-awned; perigynia 6-18, only slightly or scarcely overlapping, 3.5-5 mm, finely many-nerved as well as 2-ribbed, obtusely trigonous, fusiform, tapering to an ill-defined, often somewhat out-curved beak with an oblique, entire orifice; achene trigonous."
Diagnostic Characteristics: Carex styloflexa is very similar to Carex striatula. They differ in the following ways: C. striatula has scattered perigyms and whitish scales on the staminate spike. Carex styloflexa has especially long peduncles on the lower pistillate spike, aggregated perigyms, and beaks that point outward (Bryson 1994). The two species may occur in close proximity, but C. striatula occurs distinctly above and in drier soil.

In addition to phenotypic diagnostic characteristics, habitat characteristics can be used. Compared to the botanically similar C. styloflexa, C. striatula is perhaps more common and invasive, will grow in soil that is slightly drier, and can tolerate soils with higher pH and the soils of the Mississippi alluvial plains. When C. styloflexa and C. striatula occur together, C. striatula tends to occur further up slope where soils are drier. It can handle periods of inundation, but will not be found around streams and wetlands like C. styloflexa (Bryson 1994).

The two species above are often confused with Carex laxiflora. Carex laxiflora, however, has staminate spikes which are brownish with a greenish midrib and the entire plant tends to be a bit more yellowish-green than C. striatula (Bryson 1994).

Ecology Comments: Carex striatula occurs widely scattered, not often in large populations (Gaddy 1994, Reznicek 1994).

Phenology. Across its range, C. striatula is in fruit between April and June (Bryson 1994). In New York and the Virginias, C. striatula flowers in late May and fruits through June (NY NHP 1994, Radford et al. 1968).

Dispersal. Carex striatula was demonstrated at least in part to be dispersed by ants in the southern Appalachians of South Carolina. Fresh Carex striatula diaspores were presented to the ant species, Aphaenogaster rudis. In 60% of all encounters with the diaspores, the ants transported the diaspores more than 10 cm (Gaddy 1986). The ants carried the diaspores to a nest where the lipid-rich eliaosome was removed and eaten, and the unharmed seed was discarded (Handel et al. 1981). This rate suggests that ant dispersal is perhaps not as significant in C. striatula as in Carices which have larger eliaosomes (Gaddy 1986). In addition to ants, the species is thought to be dispersed by birds which eat the seeds (Bryson 1994).

Habitat Comments: Carex striatula inhabits xeric to moist, rich soil conditions in lands primarily in the Southeast Coastal Plain (Gleason and Cronquist 1991, Naczi and Bryson 1990, Radford et al. 1968). Sites may appear to be quite dry, although these areas must have some soil moisture, usually maintained by leaf litter. Carex striatula prefers areas moister than C. nigromarginata and drier than those preferred by C. styloflexa (Bryson 1994).

Carex striatula is frequently found in hardwoods forests such as beech, maple, oak, and hickory. It also occurs less frequently in hardwood-pine mixed forests. It is usually found under a mature forest canopy; however, populations may increase quickly under openings that allow some sunlight to reach the forest floor (Bryson 1994).

The plant is clump-forming and generally is widely scattered in the woods (Bryson 1994, Jones 1994, Reznicek 1994). It can be common and invasive in the proper habitat, although it is not a major understory plant. Where it is most common, in the southeastern end of its range, it seems to prefer north to northeast-facing slopes. It is found in a broader range of habitats further inland and to the north. Associated species include Carex digitalis and Carex cephalophora (Bryson 1994).

Habitat types are listed per state below. The information is accurate, although it may not be comprehensive.

In Alabama, the species is documented from sandy loam soil with thick leaf litter over sandstone. Oak, hickory, pine, and dogwood were canopy associates (University of Minnesota [MIN]).

In Arkansas, a single element occurrence is recorded for Ashley County. The habitat is sandy soil in ridge-top woods with abundant sugar maple understory (Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission 1992).

In Delaware, a single extant population occurs on a mesic coastal plain woodland. Other historical occurrences are from rocky, wooded banks (McAvoy 1994).

In Georgia, the species is fairly common in calcareous woods and wetlands (Allison 1994).

In Kentucky, C. striatula is known from rich hardwood forests (Kentucky Natural Heritage Program 1992).

In Mississippi, Carex striatula is found on sandy to sandy loam soils with thick leaf litter under mixed hardwoods, primarily oak, hickory, maple, and scattered pine (University of Minnesota Herbarium [MIN]).

In New York, this species is near the northern limit of its range, and the only extant state record occurs in a ravine among granite rocks with chestnut and oak (New York Natural Heritage Program 1994).

In North Carolina, the species is known to occur in oak-hickory forests (University of Minnesota [MIN]).

There is one confirmed occurrence in Ohio on the far northern edge of its range. It occurs in a mesophytic hillside forest. Habitat of this type is common in Ohio; however, despite inventory efforts, no other populations have been found. Other spring ephemerals associated with the population include Trillium and waterleaf (Cusick 1994, Ohio Natural Heritage Program 1994).

This species has been noted to occur in rich woods on the inner coastal plain of Virginia with Clematis ochroleuca and Scrophularia marilandica and Houstonia tenuifolia (Fernald 1937). It also occurs in dry hickory and oak woods (Fernald 1939).

Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Carex striatula is common and secure throughout its range in the southeastern United States. It exists incidentally in many protected areas, maintains good permanence, does not have many strict habitat requirements, and is not particularly fragile. Maintenance of openings in the forest canopy by selective cutting or natural windfall and death should allow the populations to flourish. Maintaining a community composition and structure similar to areas in which the species is more common, with an emphasis on biodiversity, should allow the species to endure. In addition, soil conditions must be moist, and frequent inundations of water should be avoided.
Restoration Potential: Carex striatula likely has good restoration potential, as it tends to be locally common where it occurs. If proper habitat is available and there is limited competing vegetation and proper soil conditions, restoration potential should be high. When restoration is a consideration, however, it is more effective to replant local plants that have been cultivated in a greenhouse than to re-seed (Bryson 1994, Reznicek 1994). The species has done well as a replant in a garden as far north as the University of Michigan (Bryson 1994, Reznicek 1994).
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Land protected should be managed with an ecosystem focus. Maintenance of openings in the forest canopy will provide the species with appropriate light. Since drying of the habitat due to logging is a threat (Cusick 1994), logging restrictions might be formed to protect this and associated species.

In addition, unnatural changes in the hydrology may harm this and associated species. It will not do well with frequent inundations of water (Bryson 1994). Preserve design might also include the ability to maintain some control of the hydrology.

Management Requirements: Management is best achieved on a community level. Maintaining a community composition similar to areas in which the species is more common, with an emphasis on biodiversity, should allow the species to endure. A small amount of selective cutting of overstory trees to create openings in areas that are succeeding could help populations restore vigor (Gaddy 1994) however, they will not respond well to the dry and sunny conditions left by clear-cutting. Where hydrology is an issue, efforts to prevent unnatural and frequent inundations of water should be made.
Monitoring Requirements: Collections and field identification must be made when the plant is fruiting in April to June to assure positive identification as it is impossible to distinguish this species from closely related Laxiflorae species at any other time of the year (Bryson 1994).

Populations of the species are easy to overlook when searching its habitat, as they tend to be very localized and easy to pass by when walking a different elevation on a slope (Bryson 1994). Proper surveys should be made by walking close transects.

Because Carex striatula is a clone-forming plant that also reproduces sexually, it is difficult to estimate how many genets exist in any population. The plants do not form long rhizomes. If plants occur several meters apart, they are likely separate individuals; however, if they abut, they are likely clones. The "ring effect," in which the plant clones outward with the center decaying away, does not occur strongly with this sedge, but might appear to an extent on clumps (Jones 1994).

C. striatula is a long-lived perennial species. Permanent transects for demographic mapping and monitoring are recommended in areas where preservation of this species is a priority. In addition to monitoring the plant, one may also monitor seed dispersing ant populations in areas where this plant is rare. Although the importance of these ant species are not well known, their protection could be important in the long-term protection of this species (Gaddy 1994).


Management Programs: There are no known management programs for Carex striatula at the present.
Monitoring Programs: There are no known monitoring programs at the present.
Management Research Programs: L. L. "Chick" Gaddy is continuing with his research on ant dispersal of seeds, including Carex striatula. Contact: L. L. "Chick" Gaddy, Route 1 Box 223, Walhalla, SC 29691. Telephone: (803) 638-2863.

Although Charles Bryson is not currently studying the taxon, he wrote a revision of the section Laxiflorae in 1982. Contact: Charles Bryson, USDA, ARS, Southern Weed Laboratory, Stoneville, MS. Telephone: (601) 686-5259.

Management Research Needs: There are no known management research needs at present, due to the common nature of the species.
Additional topics: Other rejected synonyms for the species, mentioned in Kartesz (1994), are: Carex laxiflora Lam. var. angustifolia Dewey and Carex ignota Dewey. The Kentucky Natural Heritage Program also has indicated it is synonymous with Carex laxiflora var. michauii (Kentucky Natural Heritage Program 1992). A dot map of the distribution of C. striatula is available in Bryson (1980).
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 01Jul1994
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hengelfelt, J. (1994); S.L. Neid (1998).
Management Information Edition Date: 24Jun1994
Management Information Edition Author: HENGELFELT, JENNIFER; SCHUEN, DAVID WALTER; PENSKAR, MICHAEL R.
Management Information Acknowledgments: We are indebted to all the botanists, ecologists, information managers, and others who took the time to provide the information necessary for the preparation of this and many other Element Stewardship Abstracts. Special thanks goes to Charles Bryson who has contributed a significant amount of otherwise unattainableinformation.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 24Jun1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): HENGELFELT, JENNIFER S. L.; SCHUEN, DAVID WALTER; PENSKAR, MICHAEL R.

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Bowles, M.L., et al. 1991. Rarely seen endangered plants, rediscoveries, and species new to Illinois. Erigenia 11:27-51.

  • Braun, E.L. 1967. The Vascular Flora of Ohio. Volume 1. The Monocotyledoneae: Cat-tails to Orchids. The Ohio State University Press, Cincinnati, Ohio. 464 pp.

  • Bryson, C.T. 1980. A revision of the North American Carex section Laxiflorae (Cyperaceae). Doctoral dissertation, Mississippi State University.

  • Bryson, C.T. and R.F.C. Naczi. 2002. Carex Linnaeus sect. Laxiflorae (Kunth) Mackenzie. Pages 431-440 in Flora of North America Editorial Committee (editors), Flora of North America, north of Mexico, Volume 23, Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Cyperaceae. Oxford University Press, New York, New York, USA. 608pp + xxiv.

  • Bryson, Charles T. 2002. Preliminary abundance and range estimates for Cyperaceae species of Mississippi. Handwritten notes provided to Mississippi Natural Heritage Program, Jackson, MS. 100 pp.

  • Correll, D.S. and M.C. Johnston. 1970. Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas. Texas Research Foundation, Renner, TX.

  • Fernald, M. L. 1937. Plants of the inner coastal plain of Virginia. Rhodora 37: 342-349.

  • Fernald, M.L. 1939. Last survivors in the flora of Tidewater Virginia (continued). Rhodora 41(491):529-559.

  • Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. D. Van Nostrand, New York. 1632 pp.

  • Gaddy, L.L. 1986. Twelve new ant-dispersed species from the southern Appalachians. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club. 113: 247-251.

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1963. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. D. Van Nostrand Company, New York, NY. 810 pp.

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Handel, S. N., S. B. Fisch, and G. E. Schatz. 1981. Ants disperse a majority of herbs in a mesic forest community in New York state. Bull. Torr. Bot. Club. 108(4):430-437.

  • Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • Mohlenbrock, R.H. 1967. A floristics study of Lake Murphysboro State Park, Illinois. Trans. Ill. State Acad. Sci. 60:409-421.

  • Naczi, F.R.C. and C.T. Bryson. 1990. Noteworthy records of Carex (Cyperaceae) from the southeastern United States. Bartonia 56: 49-58.

  • New York Natural Heritage Program. 2010. Biotics database. New York Natural Heritage Program. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, NY.

  • Radford, A. E., H. E. Ahles, and C. R. Bell. 1964. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

  • Radford, A.E., H.E. Ahles, and C.R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Univ. North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 1183 pp.

  • Reschke, Carol. 1990. Ecological communities of New York State. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Latham, NY. 96 pp. plus xi.

  • Rhoads, A.F., and W. Klein. 1993. Atlas of the Flora of Pennsylvania: An Annotated Checklist. American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Rhoads, Ann F. and Timothy A. Block. 2000. The Plants of Pennsylvania, an Illustrated Manual. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Robison, R.D. 1993. Miscellaneous Publication Number 9. The Center for Field Biology Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN 37044

  • Weakley, A.S. 2004. Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia. Working draft of March 17, 2004. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. 871pp. Currently published by the author and available on the web at (http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/flora.htm).

  • Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research http://www.fccdr.usf.edu/. University of South Florida http://www.usf.edu/]. New York Flora Association http://wwws.nyflora.org/, Albany, New York

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