Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Poorjoe - Hexasepalum teres   (Walter) J.H. Kirkbride
Members of Rubiaceae:
Only member of Hexasepalum in NC.
Google Images
Section 6 » Family Rubiaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
Author(Walter) J.H. Kirkbride
DistributionThroughout the state, likely in every county.

This is a widespread Eastern species, ranging from MA to IA, and south to southern FL and central TX.
AbundanceOften very common where found, especially in the Piedmont and most of the Coastal Plain. One of the most abundant native species in the state, by number of individuals.
HabitatThis is a "weed" of a great array of sunny, ruderal habitats. It grows on roadsides, in fields, in lawns, on dune flats, and other dry places where there is little competing vegetation.
PhenologyBlooms from June to frost, and fruits soon after flowering.
IdentificationThough a small species, this one is so abundant that is impossible to overlook, at least by biologists. It has a very short stem, or cluster of stems coming from a crawling base, reaching only to about 6 inches tall, usually growing in very dense patches. The several pairs of opposite leaves are linear-elliptic, about 1.5-2 inches long, but barely 1/6-inch wide. There are solitary axillary flowers, with each being quite small and pale pink (to at times white) in color, have 4 spreading lobes, about 1/5-inch across for the spread flower. The pink to pale lavender color is distinct for a short plant such as this, and most other similar species -- such as Edrastima uniflora and Diodia virginiana -- have white flowers. When not in bloom, this plant can be overlooked or tricky to identify, but when in bloom it should be easy to spot and identify.
Taxonomic CommentsThis species has long been included in the genus Diodia, as D. teres. Many references keep it there, though Weakley (2018) has it now in Hexasepalum.

Other Common Name(s)Rough Buttonweed. Though Poorjoe is an idiosyncratic name, most references use it, and the fact that it has now been moved out of the "buttonweed" genus of Diodia, that is enough justification to keep the preferred name as Poorjoe, which is often hyphenated as Poor-joe.
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorrieSandhills Game Land, roadside, July 2009. ScotlandPhoto_natural
Select a source
Select an occurrence type