This region is blessed with two individuals in the Rock-Rose
family; the Carolina Sunrose and the Pine Barren Sunrose seen
here. One description essentially fits all in that their characteristics
are virtually the same except for the leaf and flower color.
These perennials of dry, open sites flower only in the sunlight,
a fact which explains the generic name. In both cases, a solitary
flower terminates a main stem, which later in the season clusters
of inconspicuous, bud-like flowers are produced in the axils
of branch leaves. The preferred habitat is dry, sandy, or rocky
open woods and openings. Distribution is primarily salt marsh;
however, it is known to hover near palmetto stands, where large
and dense colonies form when left undesturbed.
The leaves are about 1 inch long, narrow, dull green, and
shiny with white hairs underneath.
The flowers are about 1.5 inchs across, five petals, wedge-shaped;
many stamens. The flowers lasts only 1 day and produces many
seeds. Flowers occur between May and July.