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Comprehensive Description

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Description

This introduced perennial plant consists of a rosette of semi-erect basal leaves about 6" tall or less. At maturity, these leaves are about 5" long and ¾" across. They are linear-oblong, hairless, shiny green, and smooth along the margins, tapering to a blunt point. Usually, each mature leaf rolls upward from the middle toward the margins along its length. One or more flowering stalks are produced from the center of the rosette. These narrow stalks are up to 6" long, leafless, and often purplish green. Each stalk curves downward at its apex and bears a single nodding flower. The flowers are about 1" across, consisting of 6 blue tepals, 6 stamens with blue anthers, and a green pistil with an undivided style. Each tepal is oblong-linear and has a single vein of dark blue running along its length. The blooming period occurs from early to mid-spring and lasts about 2-3 weeks. There is a strong floral fragrance that is quite pleasant. The seed capsules are oval-orbicular in shape and bumpy across the surface. They are initially green, but eventually turn brown, each one containing several seeds. The root system consists of a small bulb with secondary roots. This plant often forms vegetative colonies by offsets.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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