IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Description

This native perennial plant is 1–2½' tall, branching occasionally. The central stem is round, hairless, and light green. The alternate leaves are up to 7" long and 3" across. They are light green or greyish green, hairless, with a soft floppy texture. The leaves are ovate-oval or ovate-oblong in shape, with smooth margins, and conspicuous pinnate venation. They usually taper to a winged petiole, although some of the upper leaves are sessile. Some of the upper stems terminate in nodding clusters of light blue flowers. These flowers are about ¾–1" long. The corolla of each flower is tubular, flaring outward toward the 5 shallow lobes like a trumpet. Within the corolla, are 5 white stamens with light brown anthers and a white style that is long and slender. The small greyish green calyx is divided into 5 blunt teeth. While in the bud stage, the flowers are a light purplish pink, but become light blue with maturity. The blooming period occurs from mid- to late spring, and lasts about 3 weeks. The ovary is divided into 4 lobes, which contain the nutlets. The root system consists of a taproot. This plant often forms colonies.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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