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Plant Profile

Carolina Bishopweed (Ptilimnium ahlesii)

P. ahlesii in seed Photo Credit: TJ Snider
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • State: GA, NC, SC
  • Nature Serve ID: 155204
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 08/05/2019

Erect, branched annual herb with leaves divided into filiform divisions, sometimes appearing undivided and quill-like towards base of plant due to loss of leaflets. Distinguished from similar Ptilimnium capillaceum by having larger fruits (3-5 mm long), earlier flowering (May to early June), and fewer mid-stem leaf segments (15-30), whereas P. capillaceum has fruits 1.5-3 mm long, flowers from June to August, and has mid-stem leaf segments numbering over 50.

Where is Carolina Bishopweed (Ptilimnium ahlesii) located in the wild?


Ptilimnium ahlesii is found in freshwater and oligohaline tidal marshes along the Combachee, Savannah, and Waccamaw River drainages and are often found on floating mats. Threats to this species include Phragmites invasion and tidal surges resulting from climate change.


Found along the Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

States & Provinces:

Carolina Bishopweed can be found in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina

Which CPC Partners conserve Carolina Bishopweed (Ptilimnium ahlesii)?

CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.

Conservation Actions

Jessica Stephens, Jason Ligon, Lila Uzzell
  • 08/05/2019

Seed was collected from July 17-19, 2019 from three sites (Waccamaw NWR in SC, ACE Basin in SC, and Savannah NWR in GA). Ten maternal lines were collected from Waccamaw NWR (accession #: C-20190530-xxx) for a total of 107 seeds. Three maternal lines were collected from ACE Basin (accession #: C-20190532-xxx) for a total of 12 seeds. Two maternal lines were collected from Savannah NWR (accession #: C-20190531-xxx) for a total of 26 total seeds.

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Taxon Ptilimnium ahlesii
Authority Weakley & G. L. Nesom
Family Apiaceae
CPC Number 47200
ITIS 822328
Common Names Coastal mock bishopweed
Associated Scientific Names Ptilimnium ahlesii | Ptilimnium macrospermum
Distribution Found along the Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
State Rank
State State Rank
North Carolina S1
South Carolina SNR
Georgia SH
Ecological Relationships

This plant grows alongside Rumex crispus, Hydrocotyle verticillata, Stenotaphrum secundatum, Cynodon dactylon, Paspalum urvillei, Phyla nodiflora, Sagittaria sp., Typha angustifolia, Zizania miliacea, Sambucus canadensis, Zizaniopsis miliacea, Amaranthus cannabinus, Physostegia leptophylla, Peltandra virginica, Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani, Eichhornia crassipes, Lilaeopsis chinensis, and Nuphar sagittifolia.


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