IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This perennial wildflower is 2-4' tall and unbranched, except near the apex where the flowers occur. The central stem is light green, terete, glabrous, and often glaucous. At intervals along this stem, there are whorls of 3-8 leaves; 1 or 2 alternate leaves may occur along the upper portion of the stem. These leaves are up to 6" long and 1" across, narrowly ovate, smooth along the margins, and sessile. The upper surface of each leaf is medium to dark green and glabrous, while the lower surface is a lighter shade of green with finely short-pubescent hairs along the veins (a 10x hand lens may be necessary to see these minute hairs). The veins of the leaves are parallel. The upper stem terminates in 1-5 (rarely up to 20) yellow-orange to red-orange flowers on long stalks. Each of these stalks nods downward at its apex. Some stalks may have 1 or 2 leafy bracts that resemble the leaves, except they are smaller in size. Each trumpet-shaped flower is about 2½" long and across, consisting of 6 tepals, 6 stamens with red anthers, and a central pistil. The throat of the flower becomes yellow and it has purple dots. The tips of the tepals curve backward, but they don't extend to the base of the flower. The anthers and style of each flower are exerted only slightly from the corolla (the 6 tepals). The blooming period occurs from late spring to mid-summer and lasts about 3 weeks. There is no noticeable floral scent. Each fertile flower is replaced by an oblongoid seed capsule that is about 2" long. Each seed capsule is divided into 3 cells; within each cell, there is a stack of large flattened seeds. The root system consists of a scaly corm with fibrous roots. This wildflower reproduces by seed or from offsets of the corms. Cultivation


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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