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This perennial plant is 1-3' tall, branching occasionally to frequently. The light green stems are glabrous and bluntly 4-angled, but they are not conspicuously winged. The opposite leaves are up to 4" long and 1" across; they are light to medium green, lanceolate or elliptic-oblanceolate in shape, glabrous, and serrated to sparingly serrated along their margins. The leaves are sessile or they clasp the stems; petioles are absent. Leaf bases are round to slightly cordate, while their tips are slender and pointed. Individual flowers develop from the leaf axils of the middle to upper stems. These flowers are about 1" long, and they have two-lipped corollas that are usually pale blue-violet (less often pink or white). The upper lip of the corolla has 2 erect lobes, while the lower lip has 3 rounded lobes. The inner surface of the lower lip often has 2 small ridges. The throat of the corolla has a patch of yellow and it is barely open because of an abundance of fuzzy hairs. The tubular calyx is light green with 5 linear-lanceolate teeth; it also has 5 longitudinal ridges along its sides. The pedicels of the flowers are at least ½" in length; they are slender, glabrous, and terete. The blooming period occurs from mid-summer to early fall, lasting about 1–1½ months. There is no floral scent. Each flower is replaced by a rounded seed capsule that contains numerous tiny seeds with reticulated outer surfaces. These seeds are dispersed by wind or water. The root system is rhizomatous. Although this plant can spread vegetatively, it isn't a strong colonizer. Cultivation


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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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