Solidago spithamaea M.A. Curtis ex A. Gray. Phen: Mid Aug-Oct. Hab: In crevices of sloping to nearly vertical outcrops of high elevation rocky summits on Grandfather Mountain, Hanging Rock Mountain, and Roan Mountain. Dist: Endemic to the three mountains named, the first two in NC, the third on the NC-TN border.
Origin/Endemic status: Endemic
Taxonomy Comments: S. spithamaea is a very restricted endemic, hexaploid (2n=54), apparently related most closely to S. multiradiata Aiton (diploid and tetraploid, 2n=18, 36) and S. leiocarpa A.P. de Candolle (tetraploid, 2n=36). S. multiradiata is an arctic-alpine species of ne. Asia, Canada, and AK, ranging south in w. North America to CA and CO. S. leiocarpa occurs in alpine situations on the higher peaks of QC, ME, NH, VT, and NY. S. spithamaea is a part of the remarkable "pseudo-alpine" flora of high elevation rocky summits in nw. NC; it typically is found with Liatris helleri, Huperzia appressa, Geum radiatum, Trichophorum cespitosum, Sibbaldiopsis tridentata, Polypodium appalachianum, Paronychia argyrocoma, Kalmia buxifolia, Stenanthium leimanthoides, Heuchera villosa var. villosa, Micranthes petiolaris, Solidago glomerata, Houstonia montana, Carex misera, and Carex brunnescens.
Synonymy: = FNA20, K1, K3, K4, RAB, S, Tn, Semple et al (2020a); = Solidago spithamea – SE1, W, orthographic variant