Fl. S.E. U.S., 1066, 1338. 1903.
Annuals. Stems ascending to erect, usually much-branched from base, 5–10 cm, glabrous. Leaves: blade linear-lanceolate, 5–15 × 1–5 mm, margins entire or with 1 or 2 pairs of teeth distally, apex obtuse, surfaces glabrous. Pedicels slender, 4–10 mm, length 1–2.3 times bract, glabrous; bracteoles 1, 1.5–4 mm. Flowers: sepals distinct, linear to linear-lanceolate, 3–6 mm; corolla 9–12 mm, tube yellow to orangish yellow, veins yellow to greenish yellow or brownish yellow, limb yellow; style 3–5 mm. Capsules ovoid, 2–2.5 × 1.5–2 mm. Seeds 0.3–0.4 mm.
Phenology: Flowering Mar–Apr.
Habitat: Wet, exposed soils in meadows, clearings in post oak woodlands, saline prairies.
Elevation: 0–100 m.
The name Gratiola flava has been widely used for G. torreyi. F. W. Pennell (1935) synonymized G. torreyi with G. neglecta, stating that the type of G. torreyi (Wright s.n., NY) has white corolla lobes and yellow corolla tubes instead of entirely golden yellow corollas as reported by Small in the protologue of G. torreyi. The statement by Pennell appears to be in error.
M. H. MacRoberts et al. (2007) discussed historic and recent collections of Gratiola torreyi (as G. flava) from Louisiana. The provenance of collections attributed to Arkansas is equivocal (MacRoberts et al.).
Gratiola pusilla Torrey ex Bentham 1846 (not Willdenow 1797) is an illegitimate name and pertains here.