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Harperella in North CarolinaHarperella in North Carolina


Ptilimnium nodosum

STATUS: Endangered

DESCRIPTION: This annual herb grows to a height of 0.15 to 1.0 meter (6 to 36 inches). The leaves are reduced to hollow, quill-like structures. The small, white flowers occur in heads, or umbels, not unlike those of Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota). Flowers have five regular parts and are bisexual or unisexual, each umbel containing both perfect and male florets. Seeds are elliptical and laterally compressed, measuring 1.5 to 2.0 millimeters (mm) in length (Kral 1980, 1981). In pond habitats, flowering begins in May, while riverine populations flower much later, beginning in late June or July and continuing until frost. Pollination biology of the species has not been studied, but seed set is apparently profuse in this annual since populations in localized areas can achieve a high density and number of individuals each year.

RANGE AND POPULATION LEVEL: Harperella is known from 12 extant populations rangewide. One population occurs in each of two North Carolina counties: Granville and Chatham. This plant is a relatively prolific annual, and large numbers may occur within each population, especially along rivers.

HABITAT: Harperella typically occurs in two habitat types: (1) rocky or gravel shoals and margins of clear, swift-flowing stream sections; and (2) edges of intermittent pineland ponds in the coastal plain.

Species Distribution from known occurrences. Species may occur in similar habitats in other counties.Green counties indicate observed within 20 years. Yellow counties indicate an obscure data reference to the species in the county. Red counties indicate observed more than 20 years ago.

Species distribution of the Harperella in NC

Species Location Map based on information provided by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program.
For additional information regarding this Web page, contact Dale Suiter, in Raleigh, NC, at dale_suiter@fws.gov

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