IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This is a native perennial plant up to 1' tall, which may be branched or unbranched. The stems are light green and smooth. The alternate leaves are up to 2" long and ¾" across. They are light green, hairless, and have smooth margins. Their shape may be oval or oblong, and they have short petioles or are sessile. Some of the stems terminate in a rather flattened cluster of a dozen or more small white flowers. Each shallow, tube-shaped flower is about ¼" across, and has 5 sepals that flare outward. The sepals are usually white, but may have light green or rose accents, particularly when the flower is still unopened. In the center, there are several yellow stamens. There is no noticeable scent. The blooming period occurs during the late spring or early summer and lasts about a month. Later, small oily fruits develop that are each about ¼" across, containing a single globular seed. They change in color from green to brown, and are said to have a sweet taste while still immature. The root system is fibrous, and it sends out slender underground suckers that parasitize other plants. Consequently, Bastard Toadflax is semi-parasitic. Deep horizontal rhizomes are also produced, causing the vegetative spread of this plant.


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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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