Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Tropical Water-hyssop - Bacopa innominata   (Gomez Maza) A.H. Liogier
Members of Plantaginaceae:
Members of Bacopa with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Scrophulariales » Family Plantaginaceae
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Author(Gomez Maza) A.H. Liogier
DistributionRecorded historically from the southeastern corner of the state (Pender and New Hanover counties -- reputedly) and from the northern Coastal Plain (Chowan County). The Chowan record is from 1956, whereas the others are reported in RAB (1968), but there seems to be no record of a specimen for either of these two counties, and thus they might have been misidentified. Specimens from Carteret County (Bostick 267-7, several herbaria) were originally determined as B. rotundifolia, but are B. monnieri. At any rate, the species B. innominata is of long-historical occurrence in NC. However, it is currently found in a handful (five) of tidewater counties in east-central VA, though these represent what is often considered as B. stragula, but has recently been declared an "intertidal form" of B. innominata (in Weakley 2018).

This is a rare species in the U.S., scattered from coastal MD south to southern FL, and rarely to AL. It is very rare away from FL.
AbundanceAlways extremely rare, and now of historical occurrence. This is a Species Concern - Historical species in NC, with the State Rank of SH.
HabitatThis species occurs in rather typical places for a Bacopa -- very shallow fresh water or mud, along edges of marshes, or edges of tidal freshwater marshes/creeks/rivers.
See also Habitat Account for Coastal Freshwater and Low-Salinity Marshes
PhenologyBlooms from June to September, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a mat-forming species, with the leaves being very small and opposite. Each leaf is ovate to somewhat rotund but only about 2/5-inch long and wide, with entire margins. Unlike with B. caroliniana, it has no fragrance when bruised or torn. Also unlike that species, which has sizable blue flowers, the flowers of this species are white, and only about 1/4-inch across, with 4-5 petals that form an almost symmetrical flower (as is typical for Bacopa species). The much more widespread B. monnieri has the leaves obovate (widest near the tip) and much larger white to pale blue flowers. The extremely rare B. rotundifolia, known in NC just from Lake Mattamuskeet, has leaves rounded to obovate (as the name suggests), and much larger white flowers with a yellow throat.
Taxonomic CommentsThis species was formerly named as Bacopa cyclophylla (as in RAB 1968). As mentioned above, some references may treat B. stragula as a seperate/good species.

Other Common Name(s)Mat-forming Water-hyssop
State RankSH
Global RankG3G5
State StatusSC-H
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