Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shallotte Wildflowers

The town of Shallotte, North Carolina is about ten minutes inland from the Brunswick County beaches.

According to the Nature Conservancy, Brunswick County is home to the greatest number of rare species in the state.

For the beach goers who only drive to Shallotte to shop at Wal-Mart during their vacation, this historical marker goes unnoticed as they turn onto Hwy 17 from Hwy 179.

But along the roadside, weeds are colorful and abundant in Shallotte in September.  This small yellow flower is seedbox, Ludwigia alternifolia. Seedbox is in the Onagraceae family, along with evening primrose.

Above, a field of white-topped sedge, Dichromena colorata. (Cyperaceae family) - close-up below.

Showy rattlebox, Crotolaria spectabilis, is aptly named. The beautiful yellow pea flowers call out for attention; seeds rattle around in the large seed pods.  (Pictured above and below.)

Beach pea, Strophostyles helvola, (Fabaceae).

Meadow beauty, Rhexia - either mariana or virginica.   (I'm not sure how to tell the difference.) It's in the Melastomaceae family.

Horse nettle, Solanum carolinense. The Solanaceae family includes tomatoes, eggplant and potatoes but horse nettle is poisonous. It is an obnoxious weed because of the spines, but is an interesting plant to look at.

Pine trees, grasses and sedges, and evergreen bog shrubs form typical Brunswick County scenes.  You might find Venus flytrap, if you are lucky.

Brunswick County nature preserves:
The Green Swamp Preserve
Boiling Springs Lakes Preserve

Visit Clay and Limestone for more Wildflower Wednesday posts.


  1. What a wonderful resource! You've shown plants I can only dream about for my garden~I adore rhexia, but, it needs the moisture that your nature preserve can give it! I am so glad to meet you and have you join the Wildflower celebration! gail

  2. I would love to find a venus flytrap in the wild. Your swamp land has such beautiful delicate looking little wildflowers though that Horse nettle sounds likes its got thug tendancies.

  3. There are some interesting plants in this area. A person could spend a lot of time looking around.

  4. Wow! Great post. You've got some beautiful wildflowers up there.
    I hope to visit again soon.
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston

  5. Thanks for this lovely tour of the area with all its interesting wildflowers. Those Walmart shoppers don't know what they're missing:)

  6. gail, rosie, lisa, david and rose, i thank you all for stopping by! north carolina has quite a diverse flora and the coast is especially interesting to me. i really enjoyed wildflower wednesday and seeing all your posts. looking forward to next month.

  7. This reminds me of my turf, just a hundred or so miles north. This summer was the first time I spied any Dichromena colorata and was very intrigued.

  8. Thanks for the memories. Brunswick is the county where I lived growing up. Shallotte is 35 miles "down the Rd." from our community.