Minuartia glabra Troy Weldy

Minuartia glabra
Troy Weldy

Class
Dicotyledoneae (Dicots)
Family
Caryophyllaceae (Pink Family)
State Protection
Rare
Federal Protection
Not Listed
State Conservation Status Rank
S3
Global Conservation Status Rank
G4

Summary

Did you know?

This "winter annual" germinates in the fall and overwinters as a vegetative plant. It flowers and fruits in the spring while temperatures are still cool and before its rocky habitat becomes searingly hot in the summer. In the Shawangunk Mountains the range of this species overlaps with the range of its northern cousin, mountain sandwort, Minuartia groenlandica.

State Ranking Justification

There are 14 existing populations and one historical population. These populations are limited to a small area in the northern Shawangunks but most have good to excellent viability with many individuals. Some populations have over 1000 plants and are protected in the state park or preserve.

Short-term Trends

All evidence indicates that this plant has had a similar range and abundance for at least the past 50-100 years, and probably longer. There is no reason to think that this will change much in the near future.

Long-term Trends

There are only a handful of historical collections, all from the northern Shawangunk Mountains. There is not enough evidence to determine if this plant is more common within the Shawangunks today than at earlier times or if botanists simply did not collect this plant often. Most likely, this plant has a similar range and abundance today as it had prior to European settlement.

Conservation and Management

Threats

This plant is able to tolerate limited disturbance. Most of our known populations are located within protected landscapes. At this time, few if any threats are known.

Conservation Strategies and Management Practices

This plant seems very tolerant of limited disturbance and foot traffic. As best possible, limiting direct impacts is encouraged. The plant does need open sun, so some populations may benefit from tree removal.

Research Needs

More research needs to be done into the exact distribution of this plant and its closely related sandwort Minuartia groenlandica at Sam's Point.

Habitat

Habitat

A plant of dry, usually flat, conglomerate acidic bedrock (usually granitic bedrock, Shawangunk conglomerate, or sandstone formations) with little soil and open sunlight. These populations are often located near the top of cliff areas or open exposures through pitch pine communities (New York Natural Heritage Program 2004). Exposed sandstone rocks (Rhoads and Block 2000). Foothills and lower mountains (Arenaria groenlandica: Gleason and Cronquist, 1991). Mountains with granitic or siliceous rock, wooded ledges, and hills (Arenaria groenlandica var. glabra: Fernald, 1970).

Associated Ecological Communities

  • Dredge spoil lake shore
  • Dwarf pine ridges (guide)
  • Pitch pine-oak-heath rocky summit (guide)
  • Pitch pine-oak-heath woodland* (guide)
  • Unpaved road/path

Associated Species

  • Comptonia peregrina (sweet-fern)
  • Danthonia spicata (poverty grass)
  • Deschampsia flexuosa
  • Pinus rigida (pitch pine)
  • Polytrichum commune
  • Quercus ilicifolia (scrub oak, bear oak)
  • Quercus montana (chestnut oak)
  • Schizachyrium scoparium
  • Vaccinium myrtilloides (velvet-leaved blueberry)
  • Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)

Range

New York State Distribution

This low-growing perennial is currently known from Ulster County in the Shawangunk Ridge and Greene County in the Catskill Mountains. There are also historical records from Sullivan and Orange counties.

Global Distribution

Most common in the mountains of Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Also locally distributed north on granitic or siliceous rock of the Shawangunk and Catskill Mountains of New York, wooded ledges in Connecticut and Rhode Island, hills of New Hampshire and Maine, and along the coast in Maine.

Best Places to See

  • Minnewaska State Park (Ulster County)
  • Sam's Point Preserve (Ulster County)

Identification Comments

General Description

This is a small delicate wildflower no more than 1-4 dm tall with an open clump of many, arching, usually unbranched, wiry stems. Each stem is topped by 9-15 small flowers with five separate white petals 6-10 mm long. The 2-3 pairs of short and very narrow leaves arise opposite each other.

Identifying Characteristics

A delicate perennial or annual with stems 10-20 cm long and seldom matted. The stems are simple or forked with few, if any, leafy basal shoots. The leaves are soft and linear. There are 9-15 flowers per cyme. The sepals are 3-4 mm long, oblong to oblong-ovate, obtuse or acutish, and faintly 1-nerved. The petals are 4-8 mm long.

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification

A flowering stem with a complete description of the habitat and locality is necessary for proper identification.

Similar Species

Mountain sand-wort (Minuartia groenlandica) is mat-forming to 15 cm and has 3-7 flowers per cyme. The sepal is 4-5.5 mm long and the petal is 6-10 mm long. This is mainly a mountain plant of northern habitats. Pine-barren sand-wort (Minuartia caroliniana) is restricted to the sand dunes of Long Island. Rock sand-wort (Minuartia michauxii) has acute sepals that are prominently ribbed and it has secondary leaves in the axils of the primary leaves.

Best Time to See

Flowers may be present throughout the growing season from mid-May to the first frost. Surveys may be conducted anytime during the growing season.

  • Vegetative
  • Flowering
  • Fruiting

The time of year you would expect to find Appalachian Sandwort vegetative, flowering, and fruiting in New York.

Appalachian Sandwort Images

Taxonomy

Appalachian Sandwort
Mononeuria glabra (Michx.) Dillenb. & Kadereit

  • Kingdom Plantae
    • Phylum Anthophyta
      • Class Dicotyledoneae (Dicots)
        • Order Caryophyllales
          • Family Caryophyllaceae (Pink Family)

Additional Common Names

  • Smooth Sandwort
  • Appalachian Stitchwort
  • Mountain Sandwort
  • Smooth Mountain Sandwort

Synonyms

  • Arenaria glabra Michx.
  • Arenaria groenlandica var. glabra (Michx.) Fern.
  • Minuartia groenlandica ssp. glabra (Michx.) A. & D. Love
  • Sabulina glabra (Michx.) Small
  • Alsinopsis glabra (Michx.) Small [in part.]
  • Minuartia glabra (Michx.) Mattf.

Additional Resources

Best Identification Reference

Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

Other References

Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. D. Van Nostrand, New York. 1632 pp.

Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Mitchell, Richard S. and Gordon C. Tucker. 1997. Revised Checklist of New York State Plants. Contributions to a Flora of New York State. Checklist IV. Bulletin No. 490. New York State Museum. Albany, NY. 400 pp.

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2010. Biotics database. New York Natural Heritage Program. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, NY.

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. New York Natural Heritage Program Databases. Albany, NY.

Reschke, Carol. 1990. Ecological communities of New York State. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Latham, NY. 96 pp. plus xi.

Rhoads, Ann F. and Timothy A. Block. 2000. The Plants of Pennsylvania, an Illustrated Manual. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, PA.

Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research http://www.fccdr.usf.edu/. University of South Florida http://www.usf.edu/]. New York Flora Association http://newyork.plantatlas.usf.edu/, Albany, New York

Links

About This Guide

Information for this guide was last updated on: December 22, 2004

Please cite this page as:
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. Online Conservation Guide for Mononeuria glabra. Available from: https://guides.nynhp.org/appalachian-sandwort/. Accessed April 18, 2019.

Back to top