Pyxidanthera barbulata

Pyxidanthera barbulata
Pyxidanthera barbulata
Photo Courtesy Renee Brecht
Britton & Brown
Botanical name: Pyxidanthera barbulata
Common name: pyxiemoss
Group: dicot
Family: Diapensiaceae
Growth type: subshrub, forb/herb
Duration: perennial
Origin: native
Plant height: 6 - 10" long
Foliage: prostrate, trailing, with tiny narrow, linear, needle-like leaves; evergreen, resembling a moss
Flower: small, numerous flowers, with 5 blunt lobes, white to pale pink
Flowering time: Bloom early April to May; fruits May to June
Habitat: sandy, dry ground of pinelands
Range in New Jersey: throughout the Pine Barrens; infrequent on the Inner Coastal Plain
Heritage ranking, if any: n/a
Misc. Stone, in 1910, says "The Pyxie to some extent takes the place of the Hepatica in the Pine Barrens as one of the emblems of spring. Certainly there are few more attractive sights in the still brown woods than its white starry blossoms looking forth from their green moss-like setting and often partly covered by dead srands of grass or withered leaves which have covered them during the winter. The Pyxie seems to grow both in dry and moist situations, but always in sand, sometimes forming patches a foot in diameter, with little sprays trailing off from the maini colony each lined with the little round petaled flowers"(629).