Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Seaside Seedbox - Ludwigia maritima   R.M. Harper
Members of Ludwigia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Myrtales » Family Onagraceae
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AuthorR.M. Harper
DistributionLimited to the southern third of the Coastal Plain, plus records for Roanoke Island and the northern Outer Banks in Dare County.

This is a Coastal Plain species, ranging north only to eastern NC, and south through FL and then west to eastern LA.
AbundanceDeclining in the state in recent years. Formerly infrequent, but now generally rare to uncommon, even in well-maintained pinelands. Very rare as far northeast as Dare County. This is a Watch List species.
HabitatThis species generally grows in pine savannas and pine flatwoods. However, a number of records are from sandy soil, but where moist or damp, in flatlands.
PhenologyBlooms from June to September, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis is one of the relatively few showy species of Ludwigia, and is one of three similar species that grow mainly in the state's pine savannas. It is erect, sparsely branched, growing to about 2-2.5' tall, with pubescent stem and leaves. The widely scattered stem leaves are alternate, sessile, widely lanceolate, and about 3-4" long and 1" wide, rounded at both ends and entire on the margins, and quite pubescent. The flowers, in middle and upper axils, are conspicuous, have 4 bright yellow petals, rounded, with the spread flower about 1" across. It is always a good idea to check the sepals and capsule of Ludwigia species, and this species has quite hairy sepals, and they are ovate to rounded, about 1/3" long, and strongly reflexed. L. hirtella has narrowly triangular sepals that are spreading. In addition, L. virgata is clearly a smooth species overall. You will discover that L. virgata and L. hirtella are reasonably frequent in savannas, but that L. maritima is scarce and may require much searching (and it does not range to the Sandhills).
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Harper's Seedbox, Seaside Primrose-willow. More references use "Primrose-willow" than "Seedbox", but as other similar members are generally named as Seedbox, there is no reason to use Primrose-willow for this group of Ludwigia species, preferring to use this name for the very tall species.
State RankS2S3
Global RankG5
State StatusW7 [W1]
US Status
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