Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Threadleaf Sundrops - Oenothera linifolia   Nuttall
Members of Onagraceae:
Members of Oenothera with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Myrtales » Family Onagraceae
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DistributionScattered locations in the Piedmont, Sandhills, and southern Coastal Plain. First collected in NC by H.L. Blomquist in 1932 in Durham County, then a large population in Union County in 1967 by Williams & Taylor. Discovered on a roadside in Anson County by Becky Dill in 2022, and a second Anson roadside by Dill and Sorrie in 2023. The latter held many hundreds of plants in mafic soil in association with Scutellaria australis and Baptisia alba.

Apparently native of TN-IL-KS south to GA-TX; considered adventive in FL, SC, NC, VA, KY. Though Weakley (2018) considers it as apparently native in NC and other Atlantic Coast states, the website editors are not sure, owing to the species' mostly ruderal habitats and widely scattered occurrences well east of the main range. The NCNHP considers it SE? (probably exotic), and the map below is coded as non-natural occurrences. However, the "concentration" of several records in Anson, Cabarrus, Montgomery, and Union counties suggests possible native status; more research is needed.
AbundanceRare in the southern Piedmont, and very rare or extirpated elsewhere. The 2023 Anson population contains many hundreds of plants and the 1967 population from Union Co. was also large, judging from the number of specimens distributed to herbaria.
HabitatDry to moist, temporarily wet, gravelly (granite, mafic) roadsides (Anson, Union, and Cabarrus cos.), sandy edge of military airfield (Camp Mackall in Richmond Co.), "small but excellent" granite outcrop (Franklin Co.), waste ground (Duke Forest in Durham Co.), roadside (Columbus Co.).
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting late April-July.
IdentificationThis species is easily identified by its slender aspect, height 6" to 1 foot, many extremely slender leaves (only 1 mm wide), and short oblanceolate or short-elliptical fruits arranged like a vertical row of beads.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE?
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorrieMafic soil roadside, Pleasant Grove Church Road, 1 May 2023. AnsonPhoto_non_natural
B.A. SorrieRoadside, Allen Parish, LA, June 1998. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC
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