Thermopsis fraxinifolia (Nuttall) M.A. Curtis. Phen: Late May-Jul; Jul-Oct. Hab: Dry slopes and ridges with oak and/or pine canopy, pine-oak heaths and savannas. Dist: A Southern Appalachian endemic: w. NC and e. TN south to nw. SC and n. GA.
ID notes: In addition to the key characters above, T. fraxinifolia tends to have thinner stems than T. mollis, to average taller, and to have the inflorescence generally arching to reclining (vs. erect to sometimes arching). The phenologic separation (peak flowering times separated by about 6-7 weeks, generally with a 2 week period between the last flowering of T. mollis and the first flowering of T. fraxinifolia) provides strong support to the recognition of T. fraxinifolia and T. mollis at the species level.
Origin/Endemic status: Endemic
Synonymy: = FNA, K1, K3, K4, RAB, S, Tn, W, Chen, Mendenhall, & Turner (1994); = Thermopsis mollis (Michx.) M.A.Curtis var. fraxinifolia (Nutt.) Isely – SE3, Isely (1981), Isely (1998)