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North Carolina Endemic and Near-endemic Plants

by Mickey Jo Sorrell, 2014.

Buck Creek Aster, Symphyotrichum rhiannon, by David Blevins, 2008.North Carolina’s endemic plants do not grow in the wild anywhere else on Earth, and the near-endemic plants grow in the wild only in North Carolina and in a nearby area– perhaps South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, or Georgia.

Some of these plants are rare (there are only a few individual plants or groups of plants), some are endangered (at risk of extinction), and some of them are doing very well in their own little corner of the world.

The North Carolina Natural Heritage Program identifies and maps these endemic and near-endemic plant and animal species as part of its mission to preserve the biodiversity of our state,.


Appalachian Dwarf Huckleberry Gaylussacia orocola
Appalachian Yellow Asphodel Narthecium montanum 
Bigleaf Scurfpea Orbexilum macrophyllum
Buck Creek Aster Symphyotrichum rhiannon
Bunched Arrowhead Sagittaria fasculata
Dune Bluecurls Trichostema sp. 1
Fraser fir Abies fraseri
Golden Sedge Carex lutea
Goldenrod, Coastal Solidago villosicarpa 
Goldenrod, Granite Dome Solidago simulans
Goldenrod, Yadkin River Solidago plumosa
Hartweg's Locust Robinia hartwigii
Hawthorn Crataegus senta
Hawthorn, Pale Crataegus pallens
Heartleaf, Dwarf-flowered  Hexastylis naniflora
Heartleaf, French Broad  Hexastylis rhombiformis
Heller's Blazing-star Liatris helleri
Highlands moss Schlotheimia lancifolia
Lichen, Bluff Mountain Reindeer Cladonia psoromica
Lichen, Erin's Fellhanera Fellhanera erinae
Lichen, Smoky Mountain Crustose Fellhanera montesfumosi
Mountain Golden-heather Hudsonia montana
Oak Barrens Barbara's-buttons Marshallia legrandii
Oconee Bells, Northern Shortia galacifolia var. brevistyla
Oconee Bells, Southern Shortia galacifolia var. galacifolia
Piedmont aster Eurybia mirabilis
Piedmont Fameflower Phemeranthus piedmontanus
Pink-shell Azalea Rhododendron vaseyi
Quillwort, Thin-wall Isoetes microvela
Quillwort, Virginia Isoetes virginica  
Raven Rock Liverwort Lejeunea glaucescens var. acrogyna
Roan Mountain Bluet Houstonia montana
Rugel's Ragwort Rugelia nudicaulis
Sandhills Pyxie-moss Pyxidanthera brevifolia
Savanna Indigo-bush Amorpha confusa
Savanna Onion Allium sp. 1
Small-anthered Bittercress Cardamine micranthera
Smoky Mountain Mannagrass Glyceria nubigena
Smooth-seeded Hairy Nutrush Scleria sp. 1
Spreading Avens Geum radiatum
Tall Boneset Eupatorium saltuense
Venus flytrap Dionaea muscipula



List of Rare Plant Species of North Carolina, 2012, Natural Heritage Program (endemic plants on p.114) at Accessed 4/4/2014.

Image Credit:

Blevins, David. "Buck Creek Aster, Symphyotrichum rhiannon." 2008. David Blevins Photography. Online at Accessed 4/4/2014.