Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Shrubby Seedbox - Ludwigia suffruticosa   Walter
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Section 6 » Order Myrtales » Family Onagraceae
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AuthorWalter
DistributionLimited to the southern quarter of the Coastal Plain, mainly in the clay-based bay region from Scotland and Robeson counties, southeast to the limesink areas in Brunswick and New Hanover counties.

This is a southern Coastal Plain species, ranging from southeastern NC south to southern FL, and barely west to AL.
AbundanceLocally uncommon in Brunswick County, but generally rare over its range, and quite restricted to scarce habitats. This is a State Threatened species.
HabitatThis species is generally restricted to shallow pools with often variable water levels, mainly in limesink ponds and clay-based Carolina bays, which are rare and very small habitats on the landscape, and thus it grows mainly in high-quality natural places. It might grow in other shallow pools or wet spots in pine savannas, but normally in good quality habitats.
See also Habitat Account for Longleaf Pine Woodlands with Isolated Pools
PhenologyBlooms from June to October, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a quite distinct Ludwigia when in bloom, but vegetatively it looks quite like many others. It has an erect stem, with a few branches, growing to 2-2.5' tall, being a smoth plant in general. The scattered alternate leaves are lanceolate, about 4" long but barely 2/5" wide. In this species, the flowers are all in a terminal cluster on branches, as opposed to leaf axils. This is a very tight cluster of several dozen flowers (a few in bloom at a time), only about 1" tall. Though the flowers have no petals, the sepals are colored light yellow and form a flower about 1/4" across, and thus the dense cluster of pale yellow color elevated above the rest of the branches and leaves is bound to attract attention of not only biologists but the public, as well. You may need to get you feet wet to see the species, however. Note that, at a distance, you can easily pass over the species as a sedge, a smartweed, or a plant in a number of other genera or families.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Shrubby Primrose-willow
State RankS2
Global RankG5
State StatusT
US Status
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