Agalinis obtusifolia

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

Common name: Tenlobe false foxglove

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Gerardia obtusifolia (Rafinesque) Pennell.[1]


Agalinis obtusifolia is a light yellow-green annual plant that is parasitic to the roots of grasses and other herbs. The stems are slender, stiff, 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. 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, veiny 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]


A. obtusifolia is infrequent in all of Florida. It is found across the southeastern Coastal Plain north to Delaware, south to the Florida Keys, and westward to southeastern Louisiana,[3] with disjunct populations in the Eastern Highland Rim and Cumberland Plateau regions of Tennessee and Kentucky.[4]



In the Coastal Plain it occurs in frequently burned upland pine communities (Ultisols), flatwoods (Spodosols), and wet meadows, savannas, and seepage slopes (pitcher plant bogs) including peaty areas (Histosols). A. obtusifolia also occurs on the margins of these communities,[5] seasonally on shallow calcareous soils of limestone glades in northern Florida, and in oolitic limerock of slash pine rocklands in southern Florida.[6][3]

A. obtusifolia occurs primarily in high light areas maintained by fire or edaphic conditions but will tolerate the partial shade adjacent to open areas. It is tolerant of competition with dense grass and often occurs in conjunction with bunch grasses and sedges. It seems to be limited to native pine and wet prairie communities with minimal soil disturbance, although it can occur on roadsides.[6]

Associated species include Agalinis divaricata, Agalinis filicaulis, Aristida stricta, Pinus palustris, Aristida berichiana, Serenoa repens, Schoenus nigricans, Rhyncospora divergerns, Schoenus nigricans, and Pinus elliottii.[6]


A. obtusifolia has been observed to flower in March through November,[6] with peak inflorescence in September and October in northern Florida.[7] It begins fruiting in September through October.[6]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by gravity.[8]

Seed bank and germination

Length of seed viability within the seed bank is unknown.[9]

Fire ecology

It persists in frequently burned old growth longleaf pine and wiregrass savannas.[6]


Pollination occurs by selfing and out-crossing. Specific pollinators have not been documented.[9]

===Herbivory and toxicology=== Agalinis species generally host larvae of the common buckeye butterfly (Junonia coenia) in Florida.[10]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

A. obtusifolia is listed as endangered in the states of Kentucky and Maryland, and is listed as extirpated in the state of Pennsylvania. [11]

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. 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. 3.0 3.1 Godfrey, Robert K. and Jean W. Wooten. Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Southeastern United States: Dicotyledons. 1981. University of Georgia Press. 663, 665. Print.
  4. Sorrie, B. A. and A. S. Weakley 2001. Coastal Plain valcular plant endemics: Phytogeographic patterns. Castanea 66: 50-82.
  5. 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. 547. Print.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Database. URL: Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Wilson Baker, W. C. Brumbach, J.M. Canne, Robert K. Godfrey, J. Hays, Richard D. Houk, Ann F. Johnson, Nancy E. Jordan, R. Kral, R. Komarek, S.W. Leonard, Sidney McDaniel, and Alfred Schotz. States and Counties: Florida: Calhoun, Gadsden, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Monroe, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, and Walton. Georgia: Baker, Thomas, and Worth.
  7. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 15 JAN 2016
  8. 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.
  9. 9.0 9.1 [[1]]NatureServe. Accessed: March 22, 2016
  10. 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.
  11. USDA Plants Database URL: