Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Shade Mudflower - Micranthemum umbrosum   (J.F. Gmelin) S.F. Blake
Members of Linderniaceae:
Only member of Micranthemum in NC.
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Section 6 » Order Scrophulariales » Family Linderniaceae
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Author(J.F. Gmelin) S.F. Blake
DistributionNearly throughout the central and western Coastal Plain, except seemingly absent from the Sandhills region. Absent in the far eastern counties. A specimen from Gaston County in the Piedmont is quite disjunct.

This is essentially a Coastal Plain species, ranging north to southeastern VA, and south to southern FL and west to eastern TX.
AbundanceInfrequent to fairly common in much of the Coastal Plain, though not as common as one might expect, based on the range maps. Specimens are not overly numerous in the herbaria. Even so, the State Rank of S3, as given by the NCNHP, is probably best at S3S4, considering that this is a tiny species that is easily overlooked.
HabitatThis is a species of very shallow water (mainly along edges), in muddy spots, and other damp ground with little or no taller competition. It can be found in shallow pools, and margins of ponds, in slow-moving streams, and in ditches.
PhenologyBlooms from May to October, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a mat-forming species that sprawls over the ground or in shallow water, though only to about 8-10" long. However, it has frequent branches, and can thus grow in tangled masses that obscure the leaf characters. It has paired, opposite, and rounded leaves that are sessile, and only about 1/4" across and long, with entire margins. The flowers are minute, in the axils of the leaves, so small that they are almost invisible! Well, the 5 petals are white, but in reality, you must identify this species by vegetative characters -- very small, round and paired leaves (about the size and shape of the fingernail of your pinkie) that are sessile, growing as a matted plant. Thus, it is very easily overlooked, and it is more easily spotted when it is not overly matted (when it can look like a tangled mass), but when a single stem is visible away from other such stems.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)None?
State RankS3 [S3S4]
Global RankG5
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