Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Bushy Seedbox - Ludwigia alternifolia   L.
Members of Onagraceae:
Members of Ludwigia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Myrtales » Family Onagraceae
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DistributionStatewide, undoubtedly present in all 100 counties, lacking only records for a few northern Mountain counties.

This is a very widespread Eastern species, ranging from MA and NE south to northern FL and central TX.
AbundanceCommon to very common throughout, except common in the Mountains. Likely not numerous at high elevations. Of the 20 native Ludwigia species, this one is by far the most numerous of the erect species, being the default one to which all others need to be compared.
HabitatThis is a species of fresh marshes, ditches, edges and openings of bottomlands, pool margins, and many other open and wet habitats.
PhenologyBlooms for most of the warmer months, from May to October, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a somewhat tall and erect herb, to 3-4 feet tall, and with ascending branches. The stem is somewhat winged and is essentially glabrous. The scattered stem leaves are alternate and lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, nearly sessile, about 3 inches long and 1/2-inch wide, with entire margins. The flowers grow singly in many of the numerous leaf axils, on very short stalks. There are 4 bright yellow petals, rounded in shape, creating a flower about 1/2-inch across. When the petals drop, the 4 green, ovate sepals remain and are often seen for much of the season (as petals can quickly drop). The capsule is 4-angled and rather box-shaped, visible in fall and into the winter. For distinctions from other erect seedbox species, see those accounts, but as this one is so common, you should assume a seedbox is this one until proven otherwise -- especially if 4 yellow petals are visible. (Most other erect species have no petals, or have 5-6 yellow petals.)
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Alternate-leaf Seedbox, Tall Seedbox, Rattlebox (normally used for several Crotalaria species). Most references simply call this as "Seedbox", but as a number of other Ludwigia species are also named as "xxxxx Seedbox", a modifier name is required.
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
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B.A. SorrieSandhills Game Land, Thunder Road near Drowning Creek, July 2009. MoorePhoto_natural
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