Agalinis fasciculata

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Agalinis fasciculata
Agalinis fasciculata Gil.jpg
Photo was taken by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Order: Lamiales
Family: Orobancheaceae
Genus: Agalinis
Species: A. fasciculata
Binomial name
Agalinis fasciculata
(Elliott) Raf.
AGAL FASC dist.jpg
Natural range of Agalinis fasciculata from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: beach false foxglove; cluster-leaf gerardia

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Gerardia fasciculata Elliott; Gerardia fasciculata ssp. typica; Gerardia fasciculata ssp. peninsularis (Pennell) Pennell.[1]


Agalinis fasciculata is a light yellow-green annual plant that is parasitic to the roots of grasses and other herbs. The stems are slender, stiff, scabrous, and branched from the upper half and grow between 30 - 90 cm tall. The leaves are opposite, narrowly linear to filiform growing 5 - 15 mm long and 1 mm wide, rough to the touch (scabrous) and sometimes will have tufts on the shoots.[2]

The flowers are showy, in terminal racemes with 5 sepals and 5 rose-lavender or (rarely) white petals; the petal lobes are shorter than the broad, bell-shaped 2 - 3 mm tube. There are usually 2 yellow lines and numerous purple spots in the throat on the tube. The throat is usually lanose (covered in wooly hairs) at the base of the 2 upper petal lobes. There are 4 stamens, didynamous, that include filaments and anthers that are also lanose. The stigmas are elongated. The capsules (dry fruit) are globose or subglobose and will open in a loculicidal (split down the length) fashion.[2]


This species of Agalinis is common in all of Florida and is found west to Texas and north to North Carolina.[3]



A. fasciculata is a generalist as it can be found in frequently burned pine sandhills, flatwoods, upland pine communities, shortleaf pine-oak-hickory woodlands, calcareous glades, sandhills, coastal scrubs, margins of ponds, lakes, depressions, marshes, wet meadows, on the borders of dunes,[2][4][5] and in pine rocklands.[6]

It occurs on a wide range of soil types from deep sands to loamy clay and on very disturbed soils, such as those in railroad and power line rights-of-way, clear-cut areas, disturbed roadsides, dredged up sand, and site-prepped pine forests. Additionally, it appears to be somewhat salt tolerant given its proximity to salt marshes and co-existence with Spartina bakari and other brackish-salt water plants[5][4]

It is considered by some sources to be an early successional species in post agricultural succession,[7] and is observed to do well in burned longleaf pine communities, but it experiences reduced occurrence under agricultural disturbance. Additionally, A. fasciculata shows resistance to regrowth in reestablished longleaf communities that were disturbed by agricultural practices.[8]

Associated species include Schoenus nigricans, Agalinis longespica, Houstonia nigricans, Rynchospora divergens, Scleria verticillata, Eupatorium compositifolium, Baccharis, Spartina bakeri, Morella cerifera, Euthamia minor, Baccharis angustfolia, and Pinus palustris.[4]


It mostly flowers from summer to fall with peak inflorescence in September and October[9][10][2][11]; however, it has been observed to flower as early as May and late as December[11] and in the southern peninsula of Florida it can flower all year[12]. Numerous small capsules each carrying hundreds of brown honeycombed seeds mature in late autumn.[5]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by gravity.[13]

Seed bank and germination

The seeds have physiological dormancy, respond to cold stratification, and germinate at 20/10 C in light.[14]

Fire ecology

A. fasciculata requires high light provided by frequently burned areas,[15] and populations persist through repeated annual burns.[16][17]


Agalinis fasciculata has been observed being visited by plasterer bees such as Hylaeus confluens (family Colletidae), sweat bees such as Augochlorella gratiosa (family Halictidae), leafcutting bees such as Megachile albitarsis (family Megachilidae),[18] and ground-nesting bees such as Perdita gerardiae (family Andrenidae).[19] Other species of Agalinis, including this one, host larvae of the common buckeye butterfly (Junonia coenia) in Florida.[20]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

A. fasciculata is listed as endangered in the state of Maryland and is listed as rare in the state of New York.[21]

Cultural use

Photo gallery

References and notes

  1. Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 960. Print.
  3. Hall, David W. Illustrated Plants of Florida and the Coastal Plain: based on the collections of Leland and Lucy Baltzell. 1993. A Maupin House Book. Gainesville. 341. Print.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: February 2019. Collectors: Frank Almeda, Loran C. Anderson, W Baker, Edwin L. Bridges, Jane Brockmann, Michael B. Brooks, L. Brouillet, J. M. Canne, Richard Carter, George R. Cooley, Richard J. Eaton, Mark A. Garland, R. K. Godfrey, J. M. Kane, Gary R. Knight, R. Komarek, R. Kral, O. Lakela, Robert L. Lazor, Sidney McDaniel, Richard S. Mitchell, Herbert Monoson, L. J. Musselman, Leon Neel, J. B. Nelson, Steve L. Orzell, James D. Ray, Jr., Paul O. Schallert, John C. Semple, and Cecil R Slaughter. States and counties: Florida: Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Calhoun, Collier, Dade, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Franklin, Gulf, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Jackson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Manatee, Monroe, Okaloosa, Putnam, Seminole, St Johns, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington. Georgia: Grady and Thomas.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Musselman, L. J. and W. F. Mann, Jr (1979). "Agalinis fasciculata (Scrophulariaceae), a native parasitic weed on commercial tree species in the southeastern United States." American Midland Naturalist 101: 459-464.
  6. Observation by Jake Antonio Heaton in Everglades National Park, Homstead, FL, June 11th, 2016, posted to Florida Flora and Ecosystematics Facebook Group June 12th, 2017.
  7. Engle, D. M., et al. (2000). "Influence of late season fire on early successional vegetation of an Oklahoma prairie." Journal of Vegetation Science 11: 135-144.
  8. Brudvig, L.A. and E.I. Damchen. (2011). Land-use history, historical connectivity, and land management interact to determine longleaf pine woodland understory richness and composition. Ecography 34: 257-266.
  9. Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium Specimen database search.FSU's Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium
  10. Valdosta State University Herbarium database. Valdosta State University Herbarium
  11. 11.0 11.1 Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed:12/7/16
  12. Wunderlin, Richard P. and Bruce F. Hansen. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida. Second edition. 2003. University Press of Florida: Gainesville/Tallahassee/Tampa/Boca Raton/Pensacola/Orlando/Miami/Jacksonville/Ft. Myers. 546. Print.
  13. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  14. Baskin, Jerry M.; Baskin, Carol C.. 2002. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Agalinis fasciculata (Ell.) Raf. plants University of Kentucky Lexington, Kentucky. In: Native Plant Network. URL: (accessed 2019/03/04). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.
  15. Mehlman, D. W. (1992). "Effects of fire on plant community composition of North Florida second growth pineland." Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 119(4): 376-383.
  16. Robertson, K.M. Unpublished data collected from Pebble Hill Fire Plots, Pebble Hill Plantation, Thomasville, Georgia.
  17. Glitzenstein, J. S., D. R. Streng, R. E. Masters, K. M. Robertson and S. M. Hermann 2012. Fire-frequency effects on vegetation in north Florida pinelands: Another look at the long-term Stoddard Fire Research Plots at Tall Timbers Research Station. Forest Ecology and Management 264: 197-209.
  18. Deyrup, M.A. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowering plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.
  19. [1]
  20. Observation by Roger Hammer in Silver Springs State Park, Marion County, FL. September 2016, posted to Florida Flora and Ecosystematics Facebook Group August 4, 2017.
  21. USDA Plants Database URL: