Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Blue Water-hyssop - Bacopa caroliniana   (Walter) B.L. Robinson
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Section 6 » Order Scrophulariales » Family Plantaginaceae
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Author(Walter) B.L. Robinson
DistributionLimited to the southern Coastal Plain, north to Onslow and Bladen counties. A disjunct specimen from Halifax County is misidentified and actually is Lindernia dubia.

This is a Southern species, essentially one of the Coastal Plain, ranging from southeastern VA to southern FL and west to eastern TX. Thus, the Halifax County record is not "out of line".
AbundanceRare in the southeastern Coastal Plain, known currently from about six sites, with about four others historical, according to the NCNHP database. Not surprisingly, this is a State Threatened species.
HabitatThis species grows in very shallow water or mud, and typically in sunny to partly sunny places. It is found along the margins of natural lakes, ponds, canals, slow-moving creeks, and other similar places, including wet places within fresh marshes.
PhenologyBlooms from May to September, and fruits soon after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a mat-forming wetland/aquatic species, growing only about 6-8" tall. It has fleshy, opposite, ovate leaves with entire margins; leaves are only about 7/8" long and 3/4" wide, with palmate veins. The whole plant is very fragrant when bruised or torn. When it blooms it should be easily identified, owing to its flower color. The flowers grow singly from leaf axils, and each has 4-5 rotate petals (forming a nearly symmetrical flower, as opposed to so many other "scrophs" that have bilaterally symmetrical flowers); these are only about 3/4" across, but are plain blue, less often pale blue or purplish-blue. Very few mat-forming, semi-aquatic plants have blue flowers! You may have a tough time finding this species, however, as it is rare in the state.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Sweet Water-hyssop, Carolina Water-hyssop
State RankS1
Global RankG4G5
State StatusT
US Status
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