Along the western banks of the Banister River, just north of Markham, there is an extended exposure of rocky cliffs. These Triassic sandstone/shale formations harbor a late March - early April wildflower species that is now recorded as a state record; that is, it is found nowhere else in Virginia, North and South Carolina, or Georgia.
The upper faces of the cliff formation receive daily sunlight from the east. On this elevated shelf the mean temperature is a bit higher than the temperatures at the lower cliff levels. It is generally known that cooler air gravitates toward the base of cliff formations. At this site springtime wildflowers often bloom two weeks before the appearance of wildflowers at lower heights. Apparently the mean temperature here is similar to springtime temperatures in Alabama and Arkansas where Berland's Anemone is prevalent. Voila! Pittsylvania County can boast of having a rare disjunct anemone that is presently a state record.
Berland's Anemone (Anemone berlandierii) is now recorded in the Atlas of the Virginia Flora published in Burkeville (1992). Dr. A. M. Harvill , Jr., of Longwood College, and his associates began this publication with hopes that a future complete manual of botany would someday be published for Virginia.
See also further information with photographs of the Berland's Anemone.
Copyright © 2004–2007 William T. Hathaway.