Paronychia herniarioides

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Paronychia herniarioides
Paro hern.jpg
Photo by Thomas Gunter, Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Genus: Paronychia
Species: P. herniarioides
Binomial name
Paronychia herniarioides
(Michx.) Nutt.
Paro hern dist.jpg
Natural range of Paronychia herniarioides from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Coastal plain nailwort; Michaux's whitlow-wort[1]

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Gastronychia herniarioides (Michx.) Small.[1]

Varieties: none.[1]

Paronychia comes from a Greek word for whitlow, a disease that infected the fingers.[2]


A description of Paronychia herniarioides is provided in The Flora of North America.

This species is a prostrate, pubescent annual. It is diffusely branched with limbs that are 0.5-3.5 dm long. The leaves are obtuse, 3-12 mm long, and 1.5-3.5 mm wide, with an oblong-elliptic or spatulate shape. The stipules 0.5-4 mm long and the calyx is turgidly basal. The sepals are brown, indurate, pubescent, short-awned.[1][3]


The distribution of P. herniarioides is restricted to the southeastern Coastal Plain from South Carolina south to Florida and west to Alabama. It is rare in South Carolina and Florida.[4]



In the Coastal Plain, P. herniarioides occurs in xeric, sandy soil of longleaf pine-turkey oak sand ridges. Associated species include Lyonia ferruginea, Ceratiola, Stylisma pickeringii var. pickeringii, Opuntia humifusa, Quercus geminata, Quercus myrtifolia and Polygonella.[5][6]


This species flowers from April through June.[3]


Paronychia herniarioides was observed at the Archbold Biological Station to host sweat bees from the Halictidae family such as Lasioglossum nymphalis and thread-waisted wasps from the Sphecidae family such as Tachysphex apicalis.[7]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draft of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. Core, E. L. (1941). "The North American Species of Paronychia." The American Midland Naturalist 26(2): 369-397
  3. 3.0 3.1 Radford, A. E., Ahles, H. E., & Bell, C. R. (1968). Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
  4. [[1]] NatureServe Accessed: February 19, 2016
  5. Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: October 2015. Collectors: Oscar E. Baynard, Morton Bortell, L.J. Brass, R.A. Davidson, Robert K. Godfrey, D.W. Hall, R. Kral, A.M. Laessle, N.E. Lee, R.A. Norris, Kent D. Perkins, A.E. Radford, Grady W. Reinert, G.L. Webster, R.L. Wilbur, R.F. Thorne. States and Counties: Florida: Clay, Gilchrist, Highlands, Lake. Georgia: Ben Hill, Coffee, Dougherty, Emanuel, Marion, Mitchell, Wheeler. South Carolina: Lee. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  6. Schotz, A. (2009). "Noteworthy Collection: Alabama." Castanea 74(2): 185-188.
  7. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.