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Rhexia alifanus, Liberty County, Florida, May 2008
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Melastomataceae
Genus: Rhexia

Rhexia (deer grass, meadow beauty) is a genus of plants in the Melastomataceae family. Many Rhexia species, such as Rhexia aristosa, occur in wet pine savannas (see also flatwoods), and are dependent upon moist soil with recurring fire. Further north, Rhexia virginica is found on lakeshores with recurring disturbance from winter ice scour.[1] In Nova Scotia, Rhexia virginica is considered a typical representative of the unusual coastal plain flora.[2] In Ontario, the species occurs only within an old glacial lake along Georgian Bay.[3] Northern species also appear to be associated with naturally fluctuating water levels.[4] It appears that they survive high water periods as buried seeds, and then germinate and flower during low water years. Like many other flowers in that family, Rhexia virginica is buzz pollinated and has yellow stamens which change color following the first day of flowering.[5] In North America, Rhexia is the only temperate genus in the family; the others are confined to warmer areas.[6]


Rhexia lutea, Liberty County, Florida, May 2008.

North America[edit]


  1. ^ Wisheu, I. C.; Keddy, C. J.; Keddy, P.A.; Hill, N.M. (1994). "Disjunct Atlantic coastal plain species in Nova Scotia: distribution, habitat and conservation priorities". Biological Conservation. 68 (3): 217–224. doi:10.1016/0006-3207(94)90409-X. 
  2. ^ Crowley, Megan; Beals, Lindsey (2011). Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Nova Scotia. Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute. ISBN 978-0-9811861-1-5. 
  3. ^ Keddy, P.A. (1981). "Vegetation with Atlantic coastal plain affinities in Axe Lake, near Georgian Bay, Ontario". Canadian Field Naturalist. 95: 241–248. 
  4. ^ Keddy, P.A.; Reznicek, A. A. (1982). "The role of seed banks in the persistence of Ontario's coastal plain flora". American Journal of Botany. 69: 13–22. doi:10.2307/2442827. 
  5. ^ Larson, Brendon; Barrett, Spencer (April 1999). "The Pollination Ecology of Buzz-Pollinated Rhexia virginica (Melastomataceae)". American Journal of Botany. 86 (4): 502–511. doi:10.2307/2656811. JSTOR 2656811. PMID 10205070. 
  6. ^ Morley, R. J.; Dick, C. W. (2003). "Missing fossils, molecular clocks, and the origin of the Melastomataceae". American Journal of Botany. 90 (11): 1638–44. doi:10.3732/ajb.90.11.1638. PMID 21653339. 

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