Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Coastal Rose-gentian - Sabatia calycina   (Lamarck) Heller
Members of Gentianaceae:
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Section 6 » Order Gentianales » Family Gentianaceae
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Author(Lamarck) Heller
DistributionEssentially throughout the lower Coastal Plain, ranging inland to Hertford, Pitt, Duplin, and Columbus counties, with a disjunct record to Nash County along the Fall Line. No records yet for the extreme northeastern counties, though it ought to be present in them.

This is a Coastal Plain species, ranging from southeastern VA south to southern FL and west to southeastern TX. It does not range to states away from coastal waters.
AbundanceInfrequent to locally (and seasonally) fairly common, in its range, but very rare to Nash County. As it often occurs on mudflats and drawdown sand/mud bars, seasonal water levels may cause the plant to be scarce in some seasons or years and more numerous in others.
HabitatThis is a wetland species, mostly in acidic waters of blackwater floodplains, but it can occur in brownwater areas. If favors edges of swamps, drawdown sand or mud bars, openings in swamps and bottomlands, ditches, and canal and stream banks.
PhenologyBlooms from June to October, and fruits from July to October.
IdentificationThis is a rather odd Sabatia, not at all like any other in the state. It is a short species, growing only to about 8-12 inches tall, but is widely branched, with the branches being alternate rather than opposite in most others in the genus. The few opposite stem leaves are elliptic, about 2 inches long and 2/3-inch wide, and sessile. The inflorescence is very diffuse, with widely scattered flowers each on long pedicels. Each flower is pink to pale pink to almost white, with usually 5-7 petals and sepals, the oblanceolate petals spreading to about 1-inch across, with the sepals being even longer than the petals, and thus sticking out behind the petals. Visually, this species is quite obviously different from other Sabatia species, as the plant is short, petals are medium to pale pink, and there are about 6-7 petals (others have either 5 or often 8-10 or more).
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Coastal Rose-pink, Swamp Marsh-pink
State RankS3
Global RankG5?
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