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Description

This native annual plant is a twining vine about 3-7' long. The stems are slightly pubescent, or have scattered white hairs. The larger alternate leaves are usually cordate, although leaves with 3 acute lobes are sometimes observed; smaller leaves are usually ovate. These leaves are 2-4" long and about half as much across. Their margins are smooth, while the upper leaf surface has scattered white hairs. The petioles are long, slender, and more or less pubescent. From the base of these petioles, develops 1-3 white funnelform flowers from a short stalk. These flowers are up to 1" long and ¾" across. They are shallowly lobed. At the throat of each flower, is a single white stigma with a knobby head, which is closely surrounded by several white stamens with purple or white anthers. Rarely, a flower will have two knobby stigmata. There are 5 light green sepals that are lanceolate, pubsecent or hairy, and about 1/3" long. The blooming period occurs from mid-summer through the fall, and lasts about 2-3 months. Flowers bloom primarily during the morning; there is no noticeable floral scent. They are replaced by 2-valved seed capsules that are spherical and often hairy; these capsules are surrounded by 5 acute bracts. The large seeds are dark brown or black, with an irregular oblong shape and shiny surface. They rely primarily on the vining habit of the plant for their dispersal. The root system consists of a taproot. Cultivation

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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