Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Saltmarsh False Foxglove - Agalinis maritima   (Rafinesque) Rafinesque
Members of Orobanchaceae:
Members of Agalinis with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Scrophulariales » Family Orobanchaceae
Author(Rafinesque) Rafinesque
DistributionStrictly coastal, ranging along the coast at least north to Roanoke Island and the adjacent Outer Banks in Dare County.

This is a coastal species along most of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states, from eastern Canada to southern FL and around the Gulf to southern TX.
AbundanceInfrequent in tidal marshes along the coast. As Currituck County does not contain an inlet and thus no salt marshes, its absence there is likely real. This was formerly a Watch List species, but with more survey work in tidal marshes, it has been found not to need monitoring. Needless to say, it is not one of the more commonly seen of the salt marsh "endemics".
HabitatThis species is restricted to salt and brackish marshes, including salt pans and salt flats.
PhenologyBlooms from April to September, and fruits in September and October.
IdentificationThis is one of the shorter species of Agalinis, normally growing to 8-12 inches tall, with a succulent stem. There are often some short branches from the upper part of the stem. The numerous leaves are opposite and very narrow, about 1-inch long. At the ends of the branches are somewhat short racemes of bright rose flowers, each about 1/2-inch long and across, with yellow lines in the throat. Though some other Agalinis species are somewhat similar, none of them has succulent stems and grows in salt marshes. Thus, identification by habitat alone is generally sufficient. However, as the plants tend to grow amid taller marsh grasses and other reeds, and because the plants have very narrow leaves, an individual plant can be easily overlooked if not for the rosy-pink flowers.
Taxonomic CommentsWeakley (2018) lists two varieties present in NC -- var. grandiflora and var. maritima. The first is the more southerly one, ranging north to NC, whereas the nominate one is the northern one ranging south to "se. VA and e. NC" (Weakley 2018). However, Sorrie (one of the website editors) notes that all specimens of A. "maritima" at NCU, NCSC, and DUKE were annotated in 2018 to A. maritima var. grandiflora; and the nominate variety has not been verified in NC.

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS3
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpOBL link
USACE-empFACW link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Select a source
Select an occurrence type