Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for White Screwstem - Bartonia verna   (Michaux) Rafinesque ex Barton
Members of Gentianaceae:
Members of Bartonia with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Gentianales » Family Gentianaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
Author(Michaux) Rafinesque ex Barton
DistributionLimited only to the southeastern Coastal Plain, from Craven and Carteret counties to the SC border.

This is a lower Coastal Plain species, ranging from southeastern VA (one site) south to southern FL and eastern TX.
AbundanceInfrequent (and very easily overlooked) in Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) wetlands, but very rare away from such places. This is a Watch List species.
HabitatThis is a species primarily of pine savannas, especially in slight openings or wetter places where the competition is minimal. It may also occur along pocosin edges, or in scrapes and pool margins, in association with savannas.
See also Habitat Account for Wet, Sandy, Fire-maintained Herblands
PhenologyBlooms from February to April, and fruits soon after flowering. This is one of the earliest blooming species in pine savannas.
IdentificationThis is such a tiny species that if it were not for its "large" flower, you would never notice it! It has a fibrous stem, yet still manages to be erect, but reaching only about 4 inches tall, with a few microscopic scale leaves along the stem. At the top of the stem is the solitary flower, though some plants may have small branches in the upper part and thus hold a flower at the end of each branch (several flowers on a single plant). The flower is white, with 4 spreading to ascending petals, each being oblanceolate in shape and the spread flower being about 1/2-inch long -- quite large for the tiny size of the rest of the plant. In fact, you might see the flower a few inches off the ground and have difficulty seeing the stem below it. But, if you visit a well-managed natural area, where prescribed burns are routine, you can spot a few of these plants in early spring, such as in March while much of the vegetation around it consists of buff-brown grasses.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Spring Bartonia
State RankS2
Global RankG5?
State StatusW1
US Status
USACE-agcpOBL link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
Jimmy RandolphCarteret County, March 2021, Croatan NF. CarteretPhoto_natural

View Mapping Selection Options
Select a source
Select an occurrence type