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Largeflower Heartleaf, Shuttleworth's Ginger - Hexastylis shuttleworthii


Family: Aristolochiaceae - Birthwort family Genus Common Name: Heartleaf Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Herb
Hexastylis shuttleworthii - Largeflower Heartleaf, Shuttleworth's Ginger. There are three North American genera in the Birthwort family (Aristolochiaceae) - Aristolochia (Dutchman's Pipe), Asarum (Wild Ginger), and Hexastylis (Heartleaf.) Ten of the Aristolochiaceae species are in Hexastylis; all these are native to North America, primarily in the southeastern part of the United States. Some authorities include the Hexastylis species within the Asarum genus instead of maintaining separation. The Hexastylis genus gets its name from the six styles in the flower. Most of the differences between species have to do with the shape of the calyx tube and features of the calyx lobes and interior of the calyx.

Hexastylis shuttleworthii - Shuttleworth's Ginger, Largeflower Heartleaf - is one of the more widely distributed species in the genus, being found mainly near creeks in forests of the Appalachian mountains of 6 southeastern states, with a disjunct population on Long Island in New York. It should be noted that there is some indication that the examples in NY, VA, and WV, may be larger-flowered specimens of Hexastylis heterophylla. There are two varieties of Hexastylis shuttleworthii with the difference being in the shape of the rhizome and how the leaves are distributed along the rhizome.

Found in:
AL, GA, MS, NC, NY, SC, TN, VA

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Hexastylis shuttleworthii

Distribution of Hexastylis shuttleworthii in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 25 Jun 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Lula Lake, Walker County, Ga Date: 2014-June-07Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The Hexastylis genus gets its name from the six styles in the flower.
Hexastylis shuttleworthii

Site: Lula Lake, Walker County, Ga Date: 2014-June-07Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The flowers (usually 1 or 2) of Hexastylis shuttleworthii lie on the ground beneath the leaves, often hidden in the forest duff. There are no petals; the noteworthy part is the calyx. The lobes are usually spreading or erect. The interior has distinct reticulations.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Hexastylis shuttleworthii

Site: Grassy Mountain, Murray County, Ga Date: 2014-May-15Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The flowers of Hexastylis shuttleworthii have a brown calyx tube usually with some purplish mottling. It is up to about 1.6 inches long, and has a distinct taper above the middle, giving it something of an urn-shape.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Hexastylis shuttleworthii

Site: Lula Lake, Walker County, Ga Date: 2014-June-07Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The leaves of Hexastylis shuttleworthii are evergreen, glabrous, and heart-shaped. They may be variegated or netted with white veins.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Hexastylis shuttleworthii

References used for identification and information:

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer