Paronychia erecta (Chapm.) Shinners - Square Flower

Paronychia erecta plant

Family - Caryophyllaceae




Paronychia erecta stipuleLeaves and stipule.


Paronychia erecta inflorescencePortion of inflorescence.


Paronychia erecta flowers

Flowering - April - October.

Habitat - Coastal dunes, sandy open ground.

Origin - Native to North America.

Other information - This interesting little species can be found in just a handful of southern Alabama counties. The plant is easy to identify because of its habitat, squarish-corymbose inflorescence, small white flowers, spatulate leaves, and big silvery stipules. The plant can be glabrous to puberulent.
The genus name Paronychia derives from the Greek "par" meaning "beside, near" and "onych" meaning "a claw, nail" as related plants were once used to treat abscesses which occurred at the ends of the finger or toe near the nail. These abscesses are known as "whitlow" or "felon."
The species epithet erecta derives from the Latin "erect" meaning "upright" referring to the stems of the plant.

Alabama Distribution:

Paronychia erecta map

Photographs taken at Bon Secure National Wildlife Refuge, 6-14-04.

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