Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Southern Beeblossom - Oenothera simulans   (Small) W.L. Wagner & Hoch
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Section 6 » Family Onagraceae
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Author(Small) W.L. Wagner & Hoch
DistributionThroughout the southeastern portion of the Coastal Plain, ranging north to Beaufort and southern Dare (Outer Banks) counties, but inland only within about 30-40 miles of the coast.

This is a Southern Coastal Plain species, ranging north to eastern NC, and south to southern FL and MS.
AbundanceFairly common very close to the immediate coast, less numerous a few miles beyond coastal regions.
HabitatThis species favors sandy places, such as near the margins of maritime forests and thickets, dry and sandy pinelands, sandy fields, and roadsides; it even grows in vacant lots, as long as the ground is sandy.
PhenologyBlooms from May to September, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis species is quite similar to O. gaura, a mainly montane plant in the state. It grows 3-5' tall, rarely to 6' tall, erect, with numerous alternate leaves. The leaves are smaller and narrower than on the other species, being about 2-3" long and no more than 2/5" wide. The flowers are very similar, with usually 4 elliptical white petals, turning pink to rarely red, but are smaller, barely 1/8" long; the sepals are longer and are reflexed. Look at photos of this species, to make sure you understand the odd character of the flowers, but once you understand what to search for, you hopefully can spot it in sandy places close to the southern coast. The tall form (often over 4' tall) will normally be quite obvious.
Taxonomic CommentsThis species was long known as Gaura angustifolia for many decades, until moved to Oenothera simulans.

Other Common Name(s)Southeastern Gaura
State RankS3
Global RankG5
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