Native & Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas & Georgia

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Most habitat and range descriptions were obtained from Weakley's Flora.

Your search found 17 taxa in the family Acanthaceae, Acanthus family, as understood by Weakley's Flora.

            Clicking click a plant to find out more about it on one takes you to more information and/or pictures.

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Common Name: Carolina Elytraria
Weakley's Flora: (11/30/12) Elytraria caroliniensis var. caroliniensis   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS National Database: Elytraria caroliniensis var. caroliniensis   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
INCLUDED WITHIN Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968): Elytraria caroliniensis 171-01-001   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in swamp forests over coquina limestone ("marl")

Uncommon

Native to South Carolina & Georgia

 


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camera icon Common Name: Blue Twinflower, Pineland Dyschoriste, Oblong Twinflower
Weakley's Flora: (11/30/12) Dyschoriste oblongifolia   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS National Database: Dyschoriste oblongifolia   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968): Dyschoriste oblongifolia 171-02-001   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in pine savannas, flatwoods, & sandhills

Uncommon (rare in Piedmont)

Native to South Carolina & Georgia

 


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camera icon Common Name: Swamp Twinflower, Swamp Dyschoriste
Weakley's Flora: (11/30/12) Dyschoriste humistrata   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS National Database: Dyschoriste humistrata   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968): Dyschoriste humistrata 171-02-002   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in bottomland forests, especially on soils over limestone

Uncommon in GA, rare in SC

Native to South Carolina & Georgia

 


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camera icon speaker icon Common Name: Limestone Wild-petunia, Glade Wild-petunia, Smooth Wild-petunia
Weakley's Flora: (11/30/12) Ruellia strepens   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS National Database: Ruellia strepens   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968): Ruellia strepens 171-03-001   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in calcareous forests

Rare south of VA

Native to the Carolinas & Georgia

 


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Common Name: Pineland Wild-petunia
Weakley's Flora: (11/30/12) Ruellia pinetorum   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS National Database: Ruellia pedunculata ssp. pinetorum   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968): Ruellia pinetorum 171-03-002   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in dry to wet pinelands

Rare

Native to South Carolina & Georgia

 


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camera icon Common Name: Pursh's Wild-petunia
Weakley's Flora: (11/30/12) Ruellia purshiana   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS National Database: Ruellia purshiana   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968): Ruellia purshiana 171-03-003   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in dry woodlands and forests, especially over mafic or calcareous rocks

Uncommon (rare in Mountains, rare in NC)

Native to the Carolinas & Georgia

 


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camera icon Common Name: Mexican Bluebell
Weakley's Flora: (5/21/15) Ruellia simplex   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH (ORTHOGRAPHIC VARIANT) PLANTS National Database: Ruellia caerulea   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968): Ruellia brittoniana 171-03-004   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in disturbed areas (it's commonly cultivated, especially in maritime situations along the south Atlantic and Gulf coasts)

Rare

Non-native: Mexico

 


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camera icon speaker icon Common Name: Hairy Wild-petunia, Low Wild-petunia, Glade Wild-petunia
Weakley's Flora: (11/30/12) Ruellia humilis   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS National Database: Ruellia humilis   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968): Ruellia humilis 171-03-005   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in calcareous or mafic glades and woodlands

Rare

Native to the Carolinas & Georgia

 


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camera icon Common Name: Sandhills Wild Petunia, Dwarf Wild Petunia
Weakley's Flora: (2/8/20) Ruellia ciliosa   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS National Database: Ruellia caroliniensis ssp. ciliosa var. cinerascens   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968): Ruellia ciliosa 171-03-006   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in sandhills, particularly in loamy, submesic swales

Uncommon in GA, rare in NC-SC

Native to the Carolinas & Georgia

 


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camera icon speaker icon Common Name: Carolina Wild-petunia, Common Wild-petunia, Hairy Ruellia
Weakley's Flora: (11/30/12) Ruellia caroliniensis   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS National Database: Ruellia caroliniensis ssp. caroliniensis var. caroliniensis   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968): Ruellia caroliniensis 171-03-007   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in dry to moist forests & woodlands

Common

Native to the Carolinas & Georgia

 


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camera icon Common Name: Night-flowering Wild Petunia, Night-blooming Wild Petunia
Weakley's Flora: (10/20/20) Ruellia noctiflora   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS National Database: Ruellia noctiflora   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in wet pinelands and savannas

Rare (an endemic)

Native to Georgia

 


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camera icon Common Name: Branched Foldwing, Dicliptera
Weakley's Flora: (11/30/12) Dicliptera brachiata   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS National Database: Dicliptera brachiata   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968): Dicliptera brachiata 171-04-001   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in bottomland forests

Uncommon

Native to the Carolinas & Georgia

 


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camera icon speaker icon Common Name: American Water-willow
Weakley's Flora: (11/30/12) Justicia americana   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS National Database: Justicia americana   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968): Justicia americana 171-05-001   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in river & stream beds, in shallow water, often rooted in rocky shallows

Common

Native to the Carolinas & Georgia

 


drawing of Justicia ovata, Coastal Plain Water-willow, Looseflower Water-willow need picture of leaf or frond of Justicia ovata, Coastal Plain Water-willow, Looseflower Water-willow need picture of flower of Justicia ovata, Coastal Plain Water-willow, Looseflower Water-willow need picture of sepals or involucral bracts of Justicia ovata, Coastal Plain Water-willow, Looseflower Water-willow need picture of fruit of Justicia ovata, Coastal Plain Water-willow, Looseflower Water-willow
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speaker icon Common Name: Coastal Plain Water-willow, Looseflower Water-willow
Weakley's Flora: (2/8/20) Justicia ovata   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS National Database: Justicia ovata var. ovata   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
INCLUDED WITHIN Vascular Flora of the Carolinas (Radford, Ahles, & Bell, 1968): Justicia ovata 171-05-002   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in swamps, marshes

Common in Coastal Plain (rare in Piedmont)

Native to the Carolinas & Georgia

 


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camera icon Common Name: Pineland Water-willow, Narrowleaf Water-willow
Weakley's Flora: (11/30/12) Justicia angusta   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS National Database: Justicia angusta   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in pond-cypress depressions, roadside ditches, savannas

Rare

Native to Georgia

 


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camera icon Common Name: thickleaf water-willow
Weakley's Flora: (11/30/12) Justicia crassifolia   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS National Database: Justicia crassifolia   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in flatwoods, cypress ponds

Rare

Native to Georgia

 


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Common Name: East Indian Swampweed, East Indian Hygrophila, Miramar Weed, Hygro
Weakley's Flora: (5/21/15) Hygrophila polysperma   FAMILY: Acanthaceae
SYNONYMOUS WITH PLANTS National Database: Hygrophila polysperma   FAMILY: Acanthaceae

 

Look for it in lakes, rivers, canals (it is grown for the aquarium trade and sporadically introduced to bodies of water)

Rare

Non-native: East Indies

 


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"No matter how compelling the argument for learning the names of plants, however, the beginner should be aware that it is possible to spoil the fun by trying too hard." — Richard M. Smith, Wildflowers of the Southern Mountains