Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Virginia Buttonweed - Diodia virginiana   L.
Members of Rubiaceae:
Members of Diodia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Rubiales » Family Rubiaceae
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DistributionEssentially throughout the state, but seemingly absent in the northern Mountains.

This is a widespread Southern species, found in most counties from DE west to southeastern KS, and south to southern FL and central TX. However, it is mostly absent in the Appalachians from northern NC into VA and WV.
AbundanceCommon and widespread across the state, except essentially absent in the northern Mountains.
HabitatThis is a wetland species, but mostly of damp and seasonally wet places. It grows along edges of marshes, on exposed mud of ponds and lakes, in ditches, savanna margins, and low fields or wet lawns.
See also Habitat Account for General Shoreline Forblands
PhenologyBlooms from June to frost, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a very familiar plant across the state, owing to its relative "large" flowers for a creeping plant. It has a decumbent to leaning stem, with many branches, to about 1 foot long. The opposite stem leaves are elliptical to oblanceolate, averaging about 2 inches long and 1/3-inch wide. The bright white flowers are mostly single in leaf axils, but they have a rather long tube and 4 spreading lobes, with the tube about 1/3-inch long and the spread flower about 1/2-inch across. It tends to grow in mats or large patches of uncountable plants, often decumbent. The flowers are somewhat large, and brighter white, than the similar Hexasepalum teres, which usually has smaller, pink flowers and almost always grows in dry or mesic soils and not in wetlands. In addition, D. virginiana has only 2 sepals (or rarely 4, but 2 are much different from the other 2) instead of 4 in the other species. For distinctions from the very similar D. harperi, see that species.
Taxonomic CommentsNone, though the extremely similar D. harperi has been pulled out from it by some authors as a separate species.

Other Common Name(s)Large Buttonweed
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFACW link
USACE-empFACW link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorrieSame data. MoorePhoto_natural
B.A. SorrieWhispering Pines, roadside ditch weed, Aug 2009. MoorePhoto_natural

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