Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Narrowleaf Seedbox - Ludwigia linearis   Walter
Members of Onagraceae:
Members of Ludwigia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Myrtales » Family Onagraceae
DistributionNearly throughout the Coastal Plain, with the exception of a few counties in the extreme northeastern corner. Also ranges barely into the eastern Piedmont, at least to Chatham County.

This is a Coastal Plain species, ranging from NJ south to central FL and west to central TX. It does extend inland to TN, AR, and OK.
AbundanceCommon and widespread over nearly all of the Coastal Plain, but rare in the far northern areas. Very rare in the eastern edge of the Piedmont. The NCNHP's State Rank of S4 is too conservative, and a rank of S5 is appropriate.
HabitatThis is a species of a great variety of wetland habitats -- marshes, ditches, pool margins, wet spots in savannas, sandhill seeps, canal banks, and various scrapes.
PhenologyBlooms from June to September, and fruits soon after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a familiar species to biologists working the Coastal Plain, often encountered during the year. It is a very slender member of the genus, growing to about 2-3 feet tall, with a moderate number of branches. The scattered leaves are alternate but are very narrow, being linear, about 2 inches long but barely 1/10-inch wide, sessile and entire on the margin. The many axillary flowers have 4 petals, bright yellow, but only about 1/5-inch long, giving each flower a spread of about 2/5-inch. The capsule is cylindrical, about 3 times longer than wide. Though there are many other Ludwigia species in the Coastal Plain, this looks like no other, owing to the very slender look of the plant with quite narrow leaves and small but bright yellow flowers. If not in bloom, it certainly can be overlooked, but the rich yellow of the flowers do easily catch your attention.
Taxonomic CommentsWeakley (2018) lists two varieties in the state. The nominate one -- var. linearis -- is the main one, but var. puberula also is present, but is considered "rare" by Weakley (2018).

Other Common Name(s)Narrowleaf Primrose-willow
State RankS4 [S5]
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpOBL link
USACE-empOBL link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
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B.A. SorrieSandhills Game Land, Racetrack Pond, Sept 2014. RichmondPhoto_natural
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