Sericocarpus tortifolius

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Sericocarpus tortifolius
Sericocarpus tortifolius Gil.jpg
Photo was taken by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae ⁄ Compositae
Genus: Sericocarpus
Species: S. tortifolius
Binomial name
Sericocarpus tortifolius
(Michx.) Nees
SERI TORT dist.jpg
Natural range of Sericocarpus tortifolius from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Dixie whitetop aster, Twisted-leaf white-topped aster

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Aster tortifolius Michaux; Sericocarpus bifoliatus (Walter) Porter


A description of Sericocarpus tortifolius is provided in The Flora of North America.




In the Coastal Plain in Florida and Georgia, S. tortifolius can be found in longleaf pine-wiregrass communities, flat pinelands, burned slash pines, longleaf pine-turkey oak, upland sand ridges, annually burned upland pines, dry pine barrens, live oak woodlands, wet flatwoods, open oak-hickory forests, longleaf pine savannas, and cabbage palm mixed hardwood hammocks.[1] Disturbed areas where it is found include recently logged longleaf pine forests, margins of old fields, sandy fallow fields, vacant lots, roadsides, and pine plantations. S. tortifolius is frequent and abundant in the North Florida Longleaf Woodlands, North Florida Subxeric Sandhills, Clayhill Longleaf Woodlands, and Panhandle Silty Longleaf Woodlands community types as described in Carr et al. (2010).[2] A study exploring longleaf pine patch dynamics found S. tortifolius to be most strongly represented within stands of longleaf pine that are between 130-180 years of age.[3]

Soil types include loamy sand, loam soils and sandy loam.[1]

Associated species include Andropogon, Schizachyrium, Pityopsis, Solidago, Balduina, and Sporobolus.[1]


S. tortifolius has been observed flowering in January as well as March through November and fruiting July through November.[1][4]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by wind.[5]

Fire ecology

Sericocarpus tortifolius thrives in frequently burned pine communities[1] as evidenced by populations known to persist through repeated annual burns.[6][7]

Herbivory and toxicology

S. tortifolius has been observed at the Archbold Biological Station to host sweat bees such as Lasioglossum nymphalis (family Halictidae).[8]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: July 2015. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Bruce Hansen, JoAnn Hansen, Robert L. Lazor, Robert K. Godfrey, A. F. Clewell, A. H. Curtiss, John Beckner, Richard S. Mitchell, C. Jackson, Paul L. Redfearn, Jr., R. E. Perdue, Jr., William B. Fox, R. Kral, Gary R. Knight, R. Komarek, R. A. Norris, Cecil R Slaughter, Steven P. Christman, David K. Dorman. States and Counties: Florida: Alachua, Bay, Duval, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Nassau, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Putnam, St. Johns, Wakulla. Georgia: Baker, Thomas. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  2. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  3. Mugnani et al. (2019). “Longleaf Pine Patch Dynamics Influence Ground-Layer Vegetation in Old-Growth Pine Savanna”.
  4. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 13 DEC 2016
  5. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  6. Robertson, K.M. Unpublished data collected from Pebble Hill Fire Plots, Pebble Hill Plantation, Thomasville, Georgia.
  7. Platt, W.J., R. Carter, G. Nelson, W. Baker, S. Hermann, J. Kane, L. Anderson, M. Smith, K. Robertson. 2021. Unpublished species list of Wade Tract old-growth longleaf pine savanna, Thomasville, Georgia.
  8. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.