IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Description

This native perennial plant is up to 5' tall and unbranched, except near the inflorescence. The central stem is round and smooth. Scattered along this stem are 3-7 whorled leaves. These leaves are up to 6" long and 1½" across with serrated margins. They are ovate to narrowly ovate, and are either sessile or have short petioles. At the apex of the plant are several slender spikes of white flowers up to 8" long, resembling a candelabra. The narrow tubular flowers are about ¼" long, from which 2 yellow or brown stamens are exerted. These flowers are crowded together all around each spike, blooming from the bottom up. They have no scent.  The blooming period usually occurs from early to mid-summer, and lasts about a month. The tiny seeds can be carried several feet away from the mother plant by the wind. The root system consists of a central taproot and some rhizomes, which enable vegetative reproduction.

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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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