NCBG North Carolina Botanical Garden

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Plant Family:

Acmispon helleri

Acmispon helleri (Britton) A. Heller

carolina prairie-trefoil

Acmispon helleri (Carolina Prairie-trefoil)
image by Sorrie, Bruce A.

Key to Map Symbols.
NCBG PLANT INDEX
ID_PLANT: ACHE5
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Acmispon helleri
SELECTED SYNONYM:
GENUS: Acmispon
FAMILY CODE: FABACE

NCBG DESCRIPTIVES
INTRO:
STEMS:
LEAVES:
INFLORESCENCE:
FLOWERS:
FRUITS:
COMMENTS:
HEIGHT:

NCBG DURATION
ANNUAL: 0
BIENNIAL: 0
PERENNIAL: 0

NCBG HABIT
HERB: 0
SUBSHRUB: 0
SHRUB: 0
TREE: 0
CACTUS/SUCCULENT: 0
GRASS/GRASSLIKE: 0
FERN: 0
VINE: 0

NCBG LEAF ARRANGEMENT
ALTERNATE: 1
OPPOSITE: 0
WHORLED: 0
BASAL: 0
FASCICLED: 0

NCBG LEAF COMPLEXITY
SIMPLE: 0
PINNATE: 0
BI-PINNATE: 0
TRI-PINNATE: 0
PALMATE: 0
TRIFOLIOLATE: 0

NCBG LEAF RETENTION
DECIDUOUS: 0
EVERGREEN: 0
SEMI-EVERGREEN: 0

NCBG DISTRIBUTION
HABITAT TYPE:
NATIVE RANGE:

NCBG FLORAL SYMMETRY
RADIAL (ACTINOMORPHIC): 0
BILATERAL (ZYGOMORPHIC): 0
MIXED (BOTH ACTINOMORPHIC and ZYGOMORPHIC): 0

NCBG PHENOLOGY
bloom_time: (Jun-) Jul-Aug (-Sep).
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
x x x
bloom_color:
White Red Pink Orange Yellow Green Blue Lavender Purple Violet Brown Not Applicable

fruit_time:

NCBG PLANT SALE
PLANT SALE TEXT:

Cultural Notes:

Bee Friendly: 0
Butterfly Friendly: 0
Bird Friendly: 0
Hummingbird Friendly: 0

SOIL MOISTURE:
Soil Dry: 0
Soil Average: 0
Soil Moist/Wet: 0
Soil Well-drained: 0

LIGHT EXPOSURE
Sun: 0
Part Shade: 0
Shade: 0

MINIMUM HARDINESS ZONE:
MAXIMUM HARDINESS ZONE:

GERMINATION CODE:

NCBG RECORD
ID IMAGE: 9824
ID IMAGE2: 9824
ID IMAGE3: 0
Publish to Web: 1
Last Modified: 2016-12-30

USDA PLANTS DATABASE
USDA Symbol: ACHE5
USDA Common Name:
Native Status:
Distribution:
Duration:
Growth Habit:

STATE RANKS
STATE RANK: S3 (S3)
GLOBAL RANK: G3
STATE STATUS: SC-V
US STATUS: FSC
TRACKED STATUS: Y: Track all extant and selected historical EOs

WEAKLEY FLORA
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Acmispon helleri
COMMON NAME: Carolina Prairie-trefoil
SYNONYMY: [= S, Va; = Lotus helleri Britton - RAB; < L. americanus (Nuttall) Bischoff - F; < L. purshianus F.E. & E.G. Clements - G; = L. unifoliolatus (Hooker) Bentham var. helleri (Britton) Kartesz & Gandhi - K; = L. purshianus F.E. & E.G. Clements var. helleri (Britton) Isely - C, I, SE, Z; = Acmispon americanus (Nuttall) Rydberg var. helleri (Briiton) Brouillet - Mo]
PHENOLOGY: (Jun-) Jul-Aug (-Sep).
HABITAT: Dry woodlands and openings, originally probably limited to prairie-like sites (fire-maintained, post oak-blackjack oak savannas), generally on clayey soils, now primarily seen on roadbanks, along railroads, and in powerline rights-of-way, where mowing and bush-hogging have replaced fire as the force keeping the habitat open, sunny, and suitable for this plant of prairie affinities.
COMMENTS: A. helleri
is endemic to the Piedmont of extreme sc. VA, NC, SC, and ne. GA. A. helleri is clearly closely related to A. americanus (= Lotus unifoliolatus, = Lotus purshianus, = Lotus americanus), of prairies of the midwestern states and various habitats farther west, which ranges east to LA, AR, MO, IL, IN, and WI. Isely (1981) reduced A. helleri to a variety (in Lotus), because it is but one of many elements within the L. purshianus complex and its differences from the rest are less than among the California races, while also stating since it has no breeding contact with var. purshianus, it is reasonably maintained as a species. Since A. helleri seems adequately separated from A. americanus by its narrower leaflets, glabrate vestiture, and allopatric distribution, I choose to reasonably maintain it as a species. See Sorrie (2015) for notes on its morphology.
RANGE MAP: Acmispon helleri.png

ABOUT FAMILY (Weakley Flora)
Fabaceae Lindley 1836 or LEGUMINOSAE A.L. de Jussieu 1789 (Legume Family)
SUMMARY: A family of about 730 genera and 20,000 species, trees, shrubs, and herbs, cosmopolitan.
REFERENCE: Isely (1990)=SE (throughout the family treatment); Isely (1998)=I; Lewis et al. (2005); Wojciechowski, Lavin, & Sanderson (2004); Wilbur (1963a); Robertson & Lee (1976).
ABOUT GENUS (Weakley Flora)
Acmispon Rafinesque 1832 (American Birdís-foot-trefoil, Prairie-trefoil)
SUMMARY: A genus of about 8 species, annual and perennial herbs, of temperate North America and South America. New World taxa often referred to Lotus are not closely related to it, and should be segregated (Degtjareva et al 2006; Allan & Porter 2000).
REFERENCE: Isely (1981)=Z; Isely (1998)=I; Sokoloff (2000); Degtjareva et al. (2006); Allan & Porter (2000); Grant & Small (1996).
HERBARIUM RESOURCES
SERNEC: Find Acmispon helleri in Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)
UNC SERNEC: Find Acmispon helleri in University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium - Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)

WEB RESOURCES
USDA: Find Acmispon helleri in USDA Plants
NPIN: Find Acmispon helleri in NPIN Database
FNA: Find Acmispon helleri in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Acmispon helleri

From the Image Gallery


Image ID: 9825

Image ID: 9826

Image ID: 9827

Image ID: 9828

Image ID: 9829

Image ID: 9830

Image ID: 9831

Image ID: 11438
9 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

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