Kentucky Nature Preserves Rare Plants

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Cumberland Sandwort
Minuartia cumberlandensis
Family: Caryophyllaceae

Protection Status:
State Status:  E
USFWS Status: LE

Global Rank: G2G3
State Rank: S1

Shaded, fine grain sandy ledges and rockhouses.

Species Description:
Plant a delicate, strongly tufted, smooth, herbaceous perennial, forming small clusters of stems, from slender taproots, with short basal offshoots; 1-1.5 dm tall. Stems round, smooth, leafy in upper part of stem. Leaves simple, opposite, entire; 1.2-4 cm by 2.5 mm, bright green on both sides. Flowers white, regularly 5-parted, usually solitary or 2-3 at stem tips, on long stalks, blooming from early July through August. Fruit a broadly ovoid capsule, 2.5-3.7 mm long, with 3-4 valves, releasing reddish-brown seeds.

Flowering Period: Early June to late June.

Additional Information at NatureServe

Diagnostic Characteristics:
Cumberland sandwort has leaves with both the midrib and lateral veins evident, flowers 1 or rarely 2 at the apex of the stem. It flowers July-August. Petals are present and longer than the sepals, sepals 5, stamens 10 and the capsule 3-4 valved.

Timber removal would be detrimental. Exotic pest plants are a threat to this species and should be removed. Avoid creating access to the site through trail or road construction.

Global Range:
Occurs in four Tennessee counties- Fentress, Morgan, Pickett, and Scott, in the Cumberland Plateau, and at one site in Kentucky.

Known Kentucky Occurrences:

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Data last updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission
801 Teton Trail
Frankfort,KY 40601
Phone: (502) 573-2886
Fax: (502) 573-2355
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