Agalinis acuta grows primarily in """"dry, sandy, short grass plains, roadsides, and openings in oak scrub"""" along the coastal plain from Massachusetts to Long Island, with a disjunct population in a serpentine barren in Maryland (Natureserve 2001). Soils are very dry, nutrient-poor, and generally acidic, and other vegetation is quite sparse and even stunted under these conditions. The species is described from cemeteries, middle-aged Pinus rigida- Quercus ilicifolia barrens, roadsides, a golf course bordered by a high-quality maritime grassland, a disturbed remnant of grazed coastal plain grassland, sandy moraines, and a Pinus-Quercus woodland on serpentine bedrock (U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1988, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1989, Natureserve 2001). Disturbance, mowing, grazing, and fire, in combination with relatively sterile soils create a very sparse herbaceous layer conducive to the long-term persistence of Agalinis acuta. Associated plant species include: little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), field pussytoes (Antennaria neglecta), bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), early low blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium), bushy rockrose (Helianthemum dumosum), birdfoot violet (Viola pedata), wild oat grass (Danthonia spicata), panic grasses (Panicum spp.), fescue (Festuca rubra), winter bent grass (Agrostis hyemale), Maryland golden aster (Chrysopsis mariana), colicroot (Aletris farinosa), linear-leaved goldenrod (Solidago tenuifolia), toothed white-topped aster (Aster paternus), orange-grass (Hypericum gentianoides), spring ladies' tresses (Spiranthes vernalis), little ladies' tresses (Spiranthes tuberosa), milkworts (Polygala spp.), purple gerardia (Agalinis purpurea), pine-barren gerardia (Agalinis virgata), lichens (Cetraria and Cladonia spp.), and mosses (Polytrichum spp.) (Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program [MANHESP] 1995, Natureserve 2001).