Blue Ridge Amphibolite Outcrop
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-Southern and Central Appalachian Mafic Glade and Barrens (Natureserve)

-High Elevation Mafic Glade (Poindexter 2008)



Isolated to a few distinct areas along the western border of Johnson county, on amphibolite rock.


Vegetation description

The community is characterized by low-density vegetation cover interspaced with exposed rock, mostly by herbaceous plants but with sparse trees.

Physiscal Characterization

Exclusively associated with Cranberry granite formation. Soils consist of stony, windswept, Burton-Wayah complex, which is classified as well-drained and has a 15-30% slope. The sites are distributed along the steep edges of the Amphibolite Mountian range in small patches, with an elevation ranging from 1158m-1463m (3800-4800ft).  


 Natural Process

-The communities are maintained by their shallow, rocky soil, and exposure due to their positioning on ridge and cliff faces.


Dominant Plants

-The tree layer is largely dominated by a mix of Carya glabora, Juniperus virginiana, Fraxinus americana, and Quercus prinus. The herbaceous layer is dominated by Castilleja coccinea, Hylotelephium telephioides, Rudbeckia triloba var. pinnatiloba, and Salvia urticifolia.


Characteristic Plants

-The characteristic plants for the community are Castilleja coccinea, Hylotelephium telephioides, Rudbeckia triloba var. pinnatiloba, and Salvia urticifolia


Restricted Plants

- Abies frasieri


Invasive Plants

- Commelina communis, Iris pseudacorus, Hemerocallis fulva, Bromus inermis, Bromus tectorum, Dactylis glomerata, Arrhenatherum elatius

Community Variation and Sub-types


Associated Natural Communities

-Central Appalachian Pine-Oak Rocky Woodland


Similar Communities

-Southern Appalachian Granitic Dome

-Southern Appalachian Rocky Summit

-Southern Piedmont Glade and Barrens

-Southern Appalachian Montane Cliff and Talus

-Appalachian Shale Barrens


-Cliffside development destroying the landscape is the primary destructive force for the community type, and should be the main focus of management efforts.


Management Considerations

-Protecting the communities from human destruction via development of the area.


NatureServe. 2014. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available (Accessed: February 19, 2015 ).

Poindexter, Derick B., and Zack E. Murrell. "Vascular Flora of Mount Jefferson State Natural Area and Environs, Ashe County, North Carolina." Castanea (2008): 283-327.


Web Soil Survey. 19 Feb. 2015. <>

Species List

Carya alba
Carya glabora
Fraxinus americana
Juniperous virginiana
Pinus palustris
Quercus stellata

Diervilla lonicera

Gaylussacia baccata
Kalmia latifolia
Photinia melanocarpa
Physocarpus opulifolius

Aletris farinosa
Allium cernuum
Allium cuthbertii
Carex pensylvanica
Cheilanthes lanosa
Cheilanthes tomentosa
Croton willdenowii
Deschampsia flexuosa
Helianthus divaricatus
Hylotelephium telephioides
Muhlenbergia sobolifera
Packera paupercula
Schizachyrium scoparium
Selaginella rupestris
Sibbaldiopsis tridentata
Solidago simplex var. randii
Solidago ulmifolia
Sorghastrum nutans
Thalictrum revolutum