Collection image

Grassy Bald Plant Community

Last updated over 2 years ago

Characteristic plants of the Southern Appalachian Grassy Bald community.

Distinguishing characteristics: Open, meadow-like areas at high elevations with rich diversity of wildflowers, including many unusual and rare species
Occurrence: Scattered in the mountains of southern Virginia, western North Carolina and Tennessee at elevations above 4500 ft
Conservation aspects: Rare and threatened community of various origins and histories with around 30 threatened or endangered plant species. Threatened by forestation through invasion of woody plants, management may include mowing, prescribed burns, and grazing.

References:
T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.

Image location:
Appalachian Trail from Jane Bald to Round Bald, Tennessee-North Carolina border, elevation 6,286 ft

  • 10968_88_88 Plantae > Asteraceae

    Achillea millefolium

    Yarrow

    occasional to locally abundant herb, flowers from spring through summer with small white flowers in dense terminal clusters

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 04014_88_88 Plantae > Rosaceae

    Amelanchier laevis

    Allegheny Serviceberry

    common small spring-flowering tree in this community

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 31407_88_88 Plantae > Apiaceae

    Angelica triquinata

    Filmy Angelica

    abundant in this community, tall-growing herb, dense umbels of tiny green flowers in mid- to late summer, insects visiting the flowers often behave erratically due to an intoxicating substance in the nectar

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 51786_88_88 Plantae > Cyperaceae

    Carex brunnescens

    Brownish Sedge

    dominant on wetter soils

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 07427_88_88 Plantae > Cyperaceae

    Carex pensylvanica

    Pennsylvania Sedge

    abundant in this community, dominant on wetter soils

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 61556_88_88 Plantae > Rosaceae

    Crataegus macrosperma

    Big-fruit Hawthorn

    common small thicket-forming tree in this community, white to pink flowers and long, sharp thorns, conspicuous reddish fruits in late summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 08191_88_88 Plantae > Poaceae

    Danthonia compressa

    Flattened Oatgrass

    abundant in this community dominated by grasses

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 99675_88_88 Plantae > Dennstaedtiaceae

    Dennstaedtia punctilobula

    Eastern Hay-scented Fern

    occasional to locally abundant ground cover

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 30880_88_88 Plantae > Poaceae

    Deschampsia flexuosa

    Wavy Hairgrass

    abundant in this community dominated by grasses

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 79698_88_88 Plantae > Rosaceae

    Fragaria virginiana

    Virginia Strawberry

    occasional to locally abundant, low-growing herb, flowers in late spring and edible red fruits in early summer

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 21872_88_88 Plantae > Gentianaceae

    Gentiana austromontana

    Appalachian Gentian

    rare fall-flowering herb

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 12644_88_88 Plantae > Gentianaceae

    Gentianella quinquefolia

    Agueweed

    occasional to locally abundant fall-flowering herb with tubular violet-blue to lilac-colored flowers

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 88731_88_88 Plantae > Poaceae

    Holcus lanatus

    Yorkshire Fog

    abundant in this community dominated by grasses, introduced from Europe

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 92937_88_88 Plantae > Rubiaceae

    Houstonia serpyllifolia

    Michaux's Bluet

    occasional to locally abundant tiny blue spring flower

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 71999_88_88 Plantae > Hypericaceae

    Hypericum perforatum

    Perforate St John's-wort

    introduced from Europe

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 37156_88_88 Plantae > Ericaceae

    Kalmia latifolia

    Mountain Laurel

    occasional to locally abundant evergreen spring-flowering shrub, common woody plants in this community

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 02266_88_88 Plantae > Liliaceae

    Lilium grayi

    Lily

    rare endemic early summer flower, federal species of concern, listed endangered in Tennessee, threatened in North Carolina

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 04710_88_88 Plantae > Primulaceae

    Lysimachia quadrifolia

    Whorled Yellow Loosestrife

    occasional to locally abundant herb, solitary yellow flowers on long stalks

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 93946_88_88 Plantae > Caryophyllaceae

    Minuartia groenlandica

    Mountain Sandwort

    occasional to locally abundant herb, low to the ground

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 11249_88_88 Plantae > Poaceae

    Phleum pratense

    Herd's Grass

    invasive exotic, introduced from Europe

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 77520_88_88 Plantae > Polemoniaceae

    Phlox latifolia

    Mountain Phlox

    tall-growing flowering herb

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 81465_88_88 Plantae > Rosaceae

    Potentilla canadensis

    Canada Cinquefoil

    abundant in this community, low-growing herb, yellow flowers in spring

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 36488_88_88 Plantae > Rosaceae

    Prunus pensylvanica

    Pin Cherry

    common small spring-flowering tree in this community, brightly colored fruits in summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 12360_88_88 Plantae > Dennstaedtiaceae

    Pteridium aquilinum

    Bracken

    occasional to locally abundant ground cover

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 42001_88_88 Plantae > Ericaceae

    Rhododendron calendulaceum

    Flame Azalea

    occasional to locally abundant deciduous shrub, common woody plants in this community, brightly colored flowers (orange to yellow) in late spring

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 44921_88_88 Plantae > Ericaceae

    Rhododendron catawbiense

    Catawba Rhododendron

    occasional to locally abundant evergreen flowering shrub, common woody plants in this community, pink/purple flowers in late spring

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 01878_88_88 Plantae > Rosaceae

    Rubus allegheniensis

    Allegheny Blackberry

    occasional to locally abundant shrub, common woody plants in this community, clusters of edible dark blue-black fruits in late summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 34680_88_88 Plantae > Asteraceae

    Rudbeckia laciniata

    Green-headed Coneflower

    occasional to locally abundant tall herb, flowering in summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 78584_88_88 Plantae > Polygonaceae

    Rumex acetosella

    Sheep Sorrel

    invasive exotic, introduced from Europe

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 58683_88_88 Plantae > Poaceae

    Schizachyrium scoparium

    Creeping Bluestem

    occasional to locally abundant prairie grass

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 06067_88_88 Plantae > Rosaceae

    Sibbaldiopsis tridentata

    Three-toothed Cinquefoil

    abundant in this community, low-growing herb, white flowers in summer

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 46384_88_88 Plantae > Asteraceae

    Solidago glomerata

    Skunk Goldenrod

    occasional to locally abundant, tall-growing herb but relatively short for goldenrods, densely packed odorous yellow flowers in summer and fall

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 92258_88_88 Plantae > Fabaceae

    Trifolium repens

    White Clover

    introduced from Europe

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.
  • 27497_88_88 Plantae > Ericaceae

    Vaccinium corymbosum

    Highbush Blueberry

    occasional to locally abundant shrub, common woody plants in this community, edible dark blue fruits

    References:
    T. P. Spira: Wildflowers & Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains & Piedmont, 1st edition, University of North Carolina Press, 2011.