IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This native perennial plant is ½–2' tall, branching occasionally from the leaf axils. The stems are erect or have a tendency to sprawl, sometimes rooting at the leaf nodes. They are covered with long white spreading hairs. The opposite leaves are up to 3" long and 1½" across. They are pinnatifid and sharply lobed (cleft), but broadly lanceolate or ovate in overall form. The margins are coarsely serrated, while the base of each leaf is sessile or tapers to a winged petiole. The leaves are often pubescent and slightly ciliate, with a rough texture. The major stems terminate in an inflorescence consisting of a short flattened spike, densely crowded with flowers. The flowers are individually about ½" across, and usually pink or lavender – rarely do white or purple forms occur in the wild. The hairy reddish calyx of each flower is partitioned into 5 triangular sepals. The corolla tube is long and narrow, but abruptly flares outward into 5 petals that are sometimes notched at their tips. There is a pleasant floral scent. The blooming period occurs from late spring to early summer, lasting about 2 months. Some plants may bloom later and longer, but this is the exception to the rule. The seeds are without tufts of hair, and may fall to the ground only a short distance from the mother plant. The root system consists of a stout taproot, which may send up multiple stems at the base of the plant.


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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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