Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Scaleleaf False Foxglove - Agalinis aphylla   (Nuttall) Rafinesque
Members of Orobanchaceae:
Members of Agalinis with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Scrophulariales » Family Orobanchaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
Author(Nuttall) Rafinesque
DistributionOccurs in two somewhat disjunct regions -- the southern coastal region, from Croatan National Forest (Craven County) southward to SC, and also in the Sandhills region (though surprisingly no record yet for Scotland County). Certainly could occur in the intervening region, but suitable habitat is very rare in this area.

This is primarily a lower Coastal Plain species, ranging from southern NC south to northern FL and eastern LA.
AbundanceUncommon to locally fairly common in well-managed natural areas in the southern Coastal Plain, but rare and local in the Sandhills. Away from protected and managed sites, however, this is a rare plant in the state. It was formerly a state listed species, but many more recent records have moved the species just to a Watch List now.
HabitatThis is a species of pine savannas, generally ones that are somewhat wet. It also occurs in the Sandhills in seepage "bogs" and other "savanna-like" sites. In all sites, the habitat needs to be burned every handful of year to maintain herbaceous diversity.
See also Habitat Account for Wet, Sandy, Fire-maintained Herblands
PhenologyBlooms in September and October, and fruits in October and November.
IdentificationThis is a very slender species, growing to about 2 feet tall; there are a few branches toward the top. As the scientific name indicates, this species has essentially no leaves, and what there are present are simply bract-like, barely 1/10-inch long and appressed to the stem, making the stem appearing to be a bit scabrous. It has a terminal raceme on each branch, of several inches in length. Each of the scattered pink flowers is almost symmetrical from the front, with five lobes; a flower is about 3/4-inch across, with yellow lines in the throat. Most of the other Agalinis species have similar flowers, but no other has the essentially naked stems (where leaves appear to be absent). To see this and so many other savanna species in bloom, visit a savanna natural area in September or early October, and you will be well rewarded with sightings of several species of Agalinis, and hopefully this one.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Scale-leaf Agalinis. Nearly all species in the genus have alternate common names of "xxxxx Agalinis". Of course, it is best not to give a plant a common name using a part of the scientific name, if better names are available. It is a bit surprising that hardly any reference hyphenates "False-foxglove", and they all tend to use two separate words, not the best idea -- as "foxglove" generally refers to species in the genus Digitalis.
State RankS3
Global RankG3G4
State StatusW1
US Status
USACE-agcpFACW link
USACE-empFACW link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorriePender County, 1991, The Neck Savanna. CumberlandPhoto_natural
B.A. SorrieCumberland County, 1993, Fort Bragg. Braches with buds. CumberlandPhoto_natural
Select a source
Select an occurrence type