The Vascular Flora of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee

Published:

Sept 2016

Author

Jonathan P. Evans

Additional Authors

Callie A. Oldfield, Mary P. Priestley, Yolande M. Gottfried, L. Dwayne Estes, Alfire Sidik, George S. Ramseur,

ABSTRACT Sewanee: The University of the South, located in Franklin County, Tennessee, is a 5,263 ha site that encompasses a variety of plateau and cove habitats on the southern Cumberland Plateau in southeastern Tennessee. The vascular flora of the University of the South was documented from 1948–2015 and comprises 1,118 species and lesser taxa in 553 genera and 150 families. We documented 229 exotic taxa, 20.5% of the flora. This flora contains six state records, 74 Franklin County records, and two potential new species. Eighteen taxa are listed as protected either at the state or federal level, including the federally listed endangered Clematis morefieldii and state listed endangered Diamorpha smallii, Silphium brachiatum, and Symphyotrichum pratense. When compared to the five other published floras for the southern Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, the University of the South flora is the most diverse, capturing 69% of the total taxa at the species level for the region. The high diversity of plant species in the University of the South flora reflects the broad range of habitats that can be found within the campus and contiguous natural areas. This flora demonstrates that herbaria at small liberal arts colleges can play an important role in the documentation and promotion of plant biodiversity within their region.

Keywords

Cumberland Plateau, flora, floristic inventory, plant communities, rare species, Sewanee, Tennessee.