IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This native perennial plant has an erect flowering stalk about 10-18" tall. Toward the lower middle of this unbranched stalk, there is a single pair of opposite leaves. These leaves are nearly sessile, oval-cordate, coarsely crenate or dentate along the margins, and often shallowly 3-lobed; they are about 2" long and 1¼" across. The flowering stalk is slender, light green, and pubescent. At the base of the plant, there are basal leaves on long petioles. Except for their petioles, they resemble the pair of opposite leaves. The inflorescence is an erect raceme; each flower is widely spaced from the others along the stalk. The pedicels of these flowers are quite short. Each white flower is a less than than ¼" across; it consists of 5 white petals, 10 yellow stamens, a pair of styles, a greenish white calyx with 5 short lobes, and a single-celled ovary. The petals are deeply pinnatifid, which provides them with a fringed appearance. The blooming period occurs from mid- to late spring. After the blooming period, each flower is replaced by an open capsule that contains many small seeds. These seeds are distributed by raindrop logistics (raindrops striking the capsule cause it to bend and fling some of its seeds). The root system can produce vegetative colonies from rhizomes.


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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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