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1 Plants decumbent along the ground as a subshrub only becoming scandent from axillary buds later in the growing season; flowers terminal and ebracteate; early spring flowering
....3 Leaves thick, pseudo-reticulate, the leaf veins pronounced but not raised; peduncles and sepal exterior surfaces pubescent; sepal exterior magenta pink, the interior white; [acid substrates in lower Piedmont of GA, SC, and NC]
....3 Leaves thin, membranous, the leaf veins obscure; peduncles and sepals glabrous or puberulent; sepal exterior cherry red, the interior cream; [calcareous and mafic substrates, widespread in our region]
......4 Leaves glaucescent; sepals glabrous; [shale bluffs of Coosa River tributaries]
......4 Leaves glabrous and green; sepas densely sericeous; [woodland edges of calcareous flatwoods and river bluffs of the Coosa, Flint, and Savannah River drainages]