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This native perennial plant is up to 3' tall, branching occasionally. The stems have scattered white or yellow spines. The alternate leaves are up to 6" long and 3" across, and have short petioles. They are broadly lanceolate or ovate, but rather angular along the margins, which are slightly ciliate. There are white hairs and scattered spines along the central vein on the underside of each leaf.  The upper stems terminate in small clusters of star-shaped flowers with hairy pedicels. These flowers are white or light violet, about ¾" across, and have 5 petals that are united at the base. Near the center, there are 5 elongated yellow anthers that are very prominent. There is no noticeable floral scent. The blooming period can occur from early summer to early fall, and typically lasts about 1½ months. Afterwards, round fruits develop that are a little more than ½" across and half-enclosed by a papery calyx. They become yellow when mature, but are not edible to humans. Each fruit contains numerous seeds that are glossy yellow and flattened. The root system has creeping underground rhizomes, which are responsible for the vegetative spread of this plant. Cultivation


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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers


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