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Pyxidanthera barbulata BB-1913.png
Pyxidanthera barbulata

Apparently Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Diapensiaceae
Genus: Pyxidanthera

Pyxidanthera is a genus of flowering plant in the family Diapensiaceae The most widespread species (P. barbulata) is known by the common name flowering pixie-moss. It is native to the eastern United States, occurring on the coast from Long Island to New Jersey and Virginia to South Carolina.[1][2] A second species of Pyxidanthera is widely recognized,[3] called Pyxidanthera brevifolia, known only from North and South Carolina.[4] Some authors consider the two plants to be one species.[2][5]

Pyxidanthera barbulata is not a moss. It is a low subshrub producing a mat on the ground. It grows from a rhizome and the stems root at intervals where they meet the ground. The crowded leaves are lance-shaped and no more than a centimeter long. The flowers have pink sepals and white petals up to about half a centimeter long.[6]

This plant grows in dry, sandy soils under pines. Though it may occur in wetlands, it is well adapted to dry conditions. It is also adapted to habitat prone to wildfire.[2] It is known from pine barrens, flatwoods, sandhills, and the edges of pocosins.[1]


  1. ^ a b Pyxidanthera barbulata. The Nature Conservancy.
  2. ^ a b c Pyxidanthera barbulata. Center for Plant Conservation.
  3. ^ The Plant List
  4. ^ Pyxidanthera brevifolia. Flora of North America.
  5. ^ Rönblom, K. and A. A. Anderberg. (2002). Phylogeny of Diapensiaceae based on molecular data and morphology. Systematic Botany 27(2) 383-95.
  6. ^ Pyxidanthera barbulata. Flora of North America.

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