Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Aublet's Bogmoss - Mayaca aubletii   Michaux
Members of Mayaca with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Family Mayacaceae
DistributionThroughout the Sandhills region, and sparingly northeastward, eastward, and southeastward -- to Wake, Sampson, and New Hanover counties.

This is a Southern Coastal Plain species, ranging from southeastern NC southward to central FL and west to eastern TX.
AbundanceFrequent to locally fairly common in the Sandhills, east to Cumberland County, but generally rare elsewhere to the north and east to the southern coast.
HabitatThis is a wetland to aquatic species of mucky/muddy situations, with little other vegetation for competition. It grows around the margins of impoundment lakes and beaver ponds, marsh edges, stream margins, and in seepages.
PhenologyFlowers and fruits from May to July.
IdentificationThe two Mayaca species are quite unusual plants, resembling mosses. Each is semi-aquatic, mostly growing above the water surface but sometimes submerged or partly so. The stems are much branched, barely just 1-3 inches tall, growing in very dense stands, rather mat-like. Leaves are very numerous, linear and only about 1/4-inch long, mostly spreading from the stem. The flowers are solitary from a few axils, with 3 petals and 3 sepals. Each rounded petal is purplish-pink on the outer 2/3rds and white toward the base, and the spread flower is about 1/3-inch across. Up close, each flower is quite attractive, but you may need to get down on your knees to see them well, and some stands may not have the flowers in bloom, making identification even to the genus somewhat difficult. This species has the flower stalk 5-30 mm (averaging 1/2-inch) long, the plants decumbent, and the flower has a purplish-pink color (with a white center); the very rare M. fluviatilis has the flower stalks very short at 1-5 mm (barely 1/8-inch) long, grows mostly submerged, and the flower is white or purplish-pink.
Taxonomic CommentsThe two Mayaca "species" are often treated just as a single one, variously named as one or the other. RAB (1968) and Weakley (2018, "provisionally") do treat these as separate species, whereas NatureServe does not -- treating both as M. fluviatilis. The website editors give M. aubletii a Global Rank of G5?

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS3
Global RankGNA [G5?]
State Status
US Status
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B.A. SorrieCarver's Creek SP (East), boggy edge of big beaver pond, June 2016. CumberlandPhoto_natural
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