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What are they?

The diapensia family is a small family of often unusual-looking plants, or species that simply catch the eye. In our area we have just a single species which is a low, moss-like plant that can be easily overlooked when not in flower.

Where are they found?

Our single species is native to dry, sandy, pine barren habitats.


The low, spreading, moss-like appearance of the plant, coupled with the distinctive shape of the yellow stamens in the brilliant white flowers is diagnostic.

Pyxie      Pyxidanthera barbatula

(Pyxie Moss) A rare and local species of sandy, pine barrens. An old record exists for Cape May County but details are few and the record may refer to a plant in Cumberland County. Flowers late April to early May. An exquisite, low, mossy-like plant that is studded with snow-white flowers in spring. Unlikely to be found in Cape May County, but worth looking for in suitable, dry and undisturbed ground.
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Seed capsule