Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Globefruit Seedbox - Ludwigia sphaerocarpa   Elliott
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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DistributionWidely scattered over the Coastal Plain, but most records from the southwestern portion, including the Sandhills region.

Oddly enough, this is not a Southern species, but a widely scattered species from MA and IL south to central FL and eastern TX, but absent over most of the interior of this range (OH, WV, and KY). It is mainly found in Coastal Plains.
AbundanceRare from Moore and Richmond counties southeast toward Bladen and Columbus counties. Very rare elsewhere to the VA line, absent from many areas. The NCNHP has 12 records in its database, though only four are known to be extant. This certainly does not mean the other eight are gone, but many probably have not been searched for in recent years. The better rank might be S1S2, especially as there are records for 10 counties; but the editors will leave S1 as a suitable rank. This is a State Endangered species.
HabitatThis is primarily a species of quiet fresh water, and it grows mainly in the edges of lakes (natural). ponds, and in pools. It also grows in interdune depressions, but rarely in ditches or marshes.
PhenologyBlooms from June to September, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a rather tall and erect species with some branches, somewhat resembling a few others in the genus. It has pubescent stems, scattered alternate leaves that are lanceolate like most others, being 2-3 inches long but only about 1/2-inch wide. The small flowers, with no petals, are tucked into leaf axils, but at least the sepals are colored -- pale yellow, and the spread flower is about 1/5-inch across. This species is generally identified by its capsules, which unlike any other Ludwigia is rather globose, rounded in shape and narrower at the base, being about 1/6-inch across. Other species have capsules that are cylindrical or cubical, or bell-shaped, but not as clearly globose as in this species. Thankfully, the pale color of the sepals against the green of the leaves will catch the attention of a biologist, especially for a plant growing in shallow water of a lake or pond shore or in a pool. As with many or most species of Ludwigia, there seems to be a feeling that few biologists are actively collecting or searching for them -- or many coastal marsh species -- and thus taking NCNHP records too literally for this group might make species appear to be much rarer than they are in life, especially as pool and ponded habitats are not really declining in the Coastal Plain.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Globefruit Primrose-willow
State RankS1
Global RankG5
State StatusE
US Status
USACE-agcpOBL link
USACE-empOBL link
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B.A. SorrieMoore County, 2019, SW corner of Aberdeen Lake. MoorePhoto_natural
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