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Pencil Flower Stylosanthes biflora

Previously known as:

  • Stylosanthes biflora var. hispidissima
  • Stylosanthes floridana
  • Stylosanthes riparia
  • Stylosanthes riparia var. setifera
Phonetic Spelling
sty-lo-SAN-theez by-FLOR-uh
Description

Pencil Flower is a native perennial wildflower in the legume family found in central and eastern USA in dry woods, fields and thickets. It is found throughout NC. The plant grows .5 to 1.5 feet tall and the yellow pea-like flowers bloom from late spring to fall, but rather sparsely. Bees pollinate the flowers and deer and rabbits will browse the leaves. There is some variation in the leaves and flowers throughout its range.

This plant prefers acidic somewhat poor soils, due to less competition, in full sun to partial shade. It is generally not used in cultivation and is hard to find but could be grown in naturalized areas.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#NC native
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#NC native
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Stylosanthes
    Species:
    biflora
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & Eastern U.S.A
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , AZ , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Host plant to Barred Yellow butterfly.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Wildflower
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Small pea-like flowers with 5 yellow petals growing singly or in small clusters at the end of the branches. Flowers late spring through fall.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    Compound leaves with 3 leaflets. Upper surface medium green and undersides are paler with short hairs. Leaflets are .5 to 1.5 inches long and oval.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Bristle-tipped, wiry stems