Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot., sér. 2, 6: 370. 1836.
Herbs. Stems erect, (4–)10–30(–38) cm, stellate-pubescent, hairs 1.5–2.5 mm. Leaves basal, rosette- or mat-forming, and cauline, relatively few, similar to basal, margins not revolute; petiole 1–4 mm; blade spatulate to obovate or elliptic, 10–35(–60) × 5–18(–28) mm, tapered to base, apex obtuse, surfaces sparsely stellate-pubescent, lateral veins raised abaxially. Inflorescences terminal, scorpioid cymes; chasmogamous flowers 1–3 per cyme, cleistogamous rarely produced, flowering 1–3 months later than chasmogamous. Pedicels 4–15(–24) mm; bracts 2.5–6 × 0.5–1 mm. Chasmogamous flowers: outer sepals lanceolate, 3–6(–7.5) × 0.6–1.2 mm, inner sepals ovate, 7–12 × 4–6 mm, apex acuminate; petals broadly spatulate, 8–18 × 8–15 mm; capsules 6–9 × 4.5–9 mm, glabrous. Cleistogamous flowers: outer sepals linear, 1.6–2.8 × 0.4 mm, inner sepals ovate, 3–4.5 × 1.6 mm, apex acute; capsules not seen.
Phenology: Flowering Mar–May.
Habitat: Dry to mesic pine savannas and flatwoods, sandy pine-oak woodlands, stable alluvial dunes
Elevation: 0–200 m
Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., N.C., S.C., Tex.
Crocanthemum carolinianum is one of the more distinctive members of Crocanthemum because of its short stature, basal rosettes, relatively large leaves, nonrevolute leaf margins, and long-stellate hairs on stems. Unlike other eastern species, it rarely produces cleistogamous flowers (less than 1% of specimens examined, according to H. S. Daoud and R. L. Wilbur 1965, all in Florida).