Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Pitted Stripeseed - Piriqueta caroliniana   (Walter) Urban
Members of Piriqueta with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Turneraceae
Author(Walter) Urban
DistributionOnly recently collected in NC, in 2016, from Brunswick County by Alicia Jackson. Weakley (2022) considers the species to be native in the state, though the site where collected is somewhat ruderal at the Military Ocean Terminal, Sunny Point.

This Southern species ranges north to extreme southeastern NC, and south to southern FL (and far into the tropics) but west only to AL.
AbundanceExtremely rare, noted from just one site in the state. The NCNHP understandably is not sure the location is a natural one, and gives it a W4 Watch List status, indicating possibly or perhaps not native. Though Weakley (2022) does consider it as native in NC on his range map, the website editors choose to code the map as Provenance Uncertain, with a suggested State Rank of SE? -- instead of the NCNHP's S1.
HabitatThe NC record is from a sandy roadside. Farther south, the species grows in sandy places in Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) stands, woodland borders, and various disturbed but sandy sites.
PhenologyBlooms from May to September, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis species is the only Carolina member of the family Turneraceae. It has an unbranched stem, is erect, reaching about 1.5 feet tall, usually growing in colonies. The stem is quite hairy. The alternate leaves are generally ascending, rather short (about 1-2 inches long), generally sessile, entire on the margins, and with a rounded tip. They are generally oblong to lanceolate in shape and are quite hairy. The inflorescence is a terminal raceme, with bracts beneath each flower. Each flower is quite large and bright golden-yellow, with 5 obovate petals almost overlapping, to produce a rather rounded flower with a spread of about 1.5 inches across. The flowers stay open only on sunny days, and the petals easily fall off soon after flowering. This is a striking species when in bloom, hardly confusable owing to its rather small, ascending leaves and large bright yellow flowers.
Taxonomic CommentsAs this species' range extends well into the West Indies, plus Central and South America, it is no surprise that varieties exist. The one in the Carolinas is the nominate one -- P. caroliniana var. caroliniana. Jackson's discovery added a new botanical family to the state -- a rare event.

Other Common Name(s)The species is often simply called "Piriqueta" as a common name, though some references do give it a rather unexciting or unflattering name of Pitted Stripeseed. However, this website prefers not to use a genus name for a common name, if alternatives are available.
State RankS1 [SE?]
Global RankG5?
State StatusW4
US Status
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