NORTH CAROLINA SANDHILLS
|Figure 1: Sandhills Bog Lily (Lilium pyrophilum) is an endangered species. It is one of the many species that benefit from prescribed burns within the fire dependent plant communities of the Sandhills.|
|Figure 2: Spurred Butterfly Pea (Centrosema virginianum) common in disturbed areas such as roadsides and dry pine-oak forests.|
|Figure 3: Sandhill Morning Glory (Stylisma patens) This diminutive plant often forms large mats of growth on the dry pine forest floors.|
|Figure 4: This shows a typical Dry Longleaf Pineland dominated by an open canopy of pines with a sub-canopy of scrub oaks.|
|Figure 5: Blackjack Oak (Quercus marilandica) one |
of the many oak species found in the sandhills.
Other plant communities are mostly variants of this community based on hydrology. The rolling terrain seems to repeat a general pattern of higher, dryer, and more open pine dominated savannas to moister slopes and eventually low wet areas where water drains or stands. As one walks down from the very open dry pine ridges towards the lower wet areas the vegetation becomes noticeable thicker, basically creating a dense wall of vegetation. The classification of these plant communities varies greatly within the literature. I will use the terminology that Bruce Sorrie uses in his guide,Wildflowers of the Sandhills Region.2 For a more detailed and technical community classification read the, Guide to the Classification of the Natural Communities of North Carolina (4th Approximation).3
|Figure 7: There was a nice variety of Rhexia or Meadow Beauty species blooming in the area. This is Bog or Ciliate Meadow Beauty (Rhexia petiolata). |
Note the short, straight anthers.
|Figure 8: This is White Meadow Beauty (Rhexia mariana var. exalbida). It is an easy Rhexia to identify - look for the combination of white flowers and small linear leaves.|
|Figure 9: This is Savanna Meadow Beauty (Rhexia alifanus). It is our tallest Rhexia species with unbranched stems and blue-green leaves that hug the stem.|
|Figure 10: Rhexia alifanus|
|Figure 11: Nash's Meadow Beauty (Rhexia nashii), this |
species has characteristic gland tipped hairs.
|Figure 12: Many people know to look out for Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) and Poison Oak ( Toxicodendron pubescens) but, Spurge Nettle (Cnidoscolus stimulus) has stinging hairs that can trigger a burning sensation and a rash.|
|Figure 14: The variegated leaves of Sandhill Bean (Phaseolus sinuatus)|
|Figure 15: Pine Barren Gentian (Gentiana autumnalis) blooms later in the fall.|
|Figure 16: Yellow Fringed Orchid (Platanthera ciliaris) blooms late summer. |
|Figure 18: Small Spreading Pogonia (Cleistes bifaria) |
blooms late spring into early summer.
|Figure 19: Large Spreading Pogonia (Cleistes divaricata) |
blooms in late spring through early summer.