Agalinis sp.


The genus Agalinis (purple false foxglove) includes native herbaceous mostly annual species in the Scrophulariaceae. All are hemi-parasites or semi-parasites and are attached underground to the roots of other regular green plants. No species are reported to be host-specific; the plants attach to any available host. Many species turn black upon drying, as is the case with other hemiparasites. The leaves are opposite and fascicled in some species, simple, and have pinnate major veins. The size of the leaf is often critical in identification and varies from scale-like to linear-lanceolate. The inflorescences are terminal racemes. The flowers are perfect and irregular, with five sepals, five petals, and four stamens. The petals are lavender to purple, with two yellow lines and numerous purple spots inside. The ovary is superior, and the fruit is a capsule. There are eighteen species of purple false foxglove reported for Louisiana, and separation of species is difficult. The most common and widespread species is beach false foxglove (Agalinis fasciculata) also called purple false foxglove. Lots of this species on Allen Acres with lots of buckeye butterflies; we have counted more than 150 caterpillars during a butterfly count. This and the other Agalinis species are the caterpillar host for the Common Buckeye butterfly (Junonia coenia) and the Orange Sallow Moth (Pyrrhia aurantiago).