Lakeside Daisy (Tetraneuris herbacea)
SYNONYMS: Hymenoxys herbacea (Greene) Cusick; Hymenoxys acaulis (Pursh) Parker var. glabra (Nutt.) Parker; Actinea acaulis (Pursh) Spreng. var. glabra (Gray) Parker; Actinea herbacea (Greene) Robins.
DESCRIPTION: Densely tufted perennial from a stout, vertical rootstalk, flowering scapes 5-25 cm.
Flowering: late April to mid May; Fruiting: May, June.
SIMILAR SPECIES: A distinctive species unlikely to be misidentified as any other native Ohio composite. No other species shares its unique combination of habitat, appearance, and blooming date.
TOTAL RANGE: Tetraneuris herbacea is known only from Ohio, the Bruce Peninsula and Mantioulin Island, Ontario, and two counties in Illinois. It is apparently extirpated in Illinois (M. Bowles, pers. comm., 1981). A recently discovered population along a roadside ditch in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan may be natural or could have been introduced.
STATE RANGE: Known only from the western end of the Marblehead Peninsula in Ottawa County. The species has been successfully introduced into abandoned quarries on Kelleys Island and near Castalia.
HABITAT: Full sun in xeric, calcareous sites such as alvars, limestone and dolomite quarries and exposures, alvars.
THREATS: Overgrowth by woody species through succession; trampling and soil compaction; over-collecting; raiding of wild populations for gardens.
RECOVERY POTENTIAL: Very good; grows readily in cultivation in limestone gardens and is easily trasplanted into suitable situations, such as the abandoned quarries on Kelleys Island.
INVENTORY GUIDELINES: Collect complete, mature specimens; avoid over-collecting.
COMMENTS: This is one of Ohio’s most spectacular wildflowers. All individuals in any population tend to bloom at once, resulting in great masses of flowers. When not in bloom, the small tufts of non-descript leaves may be overlooked easily. However, this species has been thoroughly sought for many years in northern Ohio. Its state range likely is accurately known. Some controversy surrounds the question of this species’ being indigenous to Ohio. Weed (1890) and Moseley (1899, 1930) summarize the arguments pro and con on this question. However, there are no convincing reasons to doubt the native status of Lakeside Daisy in Ohio. It definitely occurred on the original limestone prairie, now destroyed by quarrying, of the Marblehead Peninsula. The Ohio habitat closely resembles that of the Canadian populations. The indigenous nature of these Canadian populations has not been doubted.
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