Gaylussacia brachycera (Michaux) A. Gray. Phen: May-Jun. Hab: Dry, acidic ridgetops and upper slopes, locally forming large clones, in the Coastal Plain in dry sandy soils. Dist: Sc. PA and DE south to e. KY and ec. TN, primarily on the Cumberland and Alleghany Plateaus; also disjunct on a steep, xeric, west-facing bluff in Durham Co. NC, where evidently native. The report in Radford, Ahles, & Bell (1968) is based on misidentification of plants later named as Vaccinium sempervirens.
Origin/Endemic status: Endemic
Taxonomy Comments: Treatment of this species in a monotypic genus may be warranted, but the genus name Buxella (as used by Small) is unavailable, as it had already been used prior to Small in a different application (Wilbur & Bloodworth 2004). The biology and genetic diversity of the species has been studied by Pooler, Dix, & Griesbach (2006), Pooler, Nicholson, & Vandegrift (2008). Coville (1919) sounded an early conservation alarm about Gaylussacia brachycera, when the extensive occurrences of it in Kentucky and Tennessee were largely unknown.
Synonymy: = C, F, FNA8, G, K1, K3, K4, Pa, Tn, Va, W, WV, Camp (1935), Gajdeczka et al (2010), Luteyn et al (1996), Sleumer (1967a); = Buxella brachycera (Michx.) Small – S, (but Buxella is preoccupied); = n/a – RAB; = Vaccinium brachycerum Michx.