IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This native perennial wildflower is 1-2½' tall, branching occasionally. The stems are terete and either glabrous or slightly pubescent. Alternate trifoliate leaves occur along the stems on petioles that are ½-2" in length. At the base of each petiole, there is a pair of narrowly lanceolate stipules less than ¼" long. The rather narrow leaflets are 1-3" long and ¼-¾" across; they are ellipsoid to oblong in shape and smooth along their margins. The upper surfaces of the leaflets are medium green and hairless (or nearly so). In each trifoliate leaf, the lateral leaflets are nearly sessile, while the terminal leaflet has a short petiolule (stalklet) at its base. Spike-like racemes of flowers about 1½–4" long develop from some of the leaf axils. These racemes are held more or less erect above the foliage on long naked peduncles about 3-6" long. The peduncles are glabrous or slightly pubescent. The flowers are arranged somewhat densely all around the raceme; they vary in color from blue-violet to white. Usually, the buds near the apex of a raceme are more blue-violet than the flowers in bloom below, which tend to be more white. Individual flowers are ¼" long, consisting of 5 petals, a short tubular calyx with 5 teeth, and the reproductive organs. The arrangement of the petals is typical for species in the Bean family


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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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