Hexastylis naniflora

Common Names:
Dwarf-flowered Heartleaf
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Michael Kunz
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
CPC National Office

The conservation of Hexastylis naniflora is fully sponsored.
Michael Kunz contributed to this Plant Profile.


Hexastylis naniflora is endemic to an eleven county area of the upper Piedmont of North and South Carolina. Dwarf flowered heartleaf is typically found in acid soils along bluffs or slopes of tributaries and small creeks in oak-hickory forests. This species is also commonly associated with mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia).

First described by Blomquist in 1957, H. naniflora has a significantly different flower size and shape compared to other species of Hexastylis and fresh flower material is needed to make positive identification. However, Padgett (2004) found that H. naniflora pollen has a wrinkled surface with no positive surface elements, distinctively different than pollen from other species, and can therefore be used to identify specimens with dried flowers. Leaves are evergreen and heart shaped with a long petiole that arises from an underground rhizome, and new leaves are only born at a rate of one per year (Newberry 1996). Fleshy tubular or jug-shaped flowers form at the base of the petiole from April to June and are often hidden under the leaf litter. Hexastylis naniflora is likely pollinated by small insects like flies or thrips (Libby et al. 1996) and seeds are distributed by ants (Gaddy 1986, Wyatt 1955).

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research