IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Description

This native perennial wildflower is 1-4' tall, unbranched or sparingly branched, and more or less erect. The central stem is light green, angular or terete, and glabrous. Pairs of opposite leaves occur at intervals along the length of each stem. The leaf blades are up to 6" long and 2½" across; they are medium green, lanceolate to ovate, hairless, and smooth along their margins. The petioles of the leaves are up to 1½" long and conspicuously ciliate. Along the axils of the middle to upper leaves, individual flowers occur on pedicels up to 3" long; they usually nod downward. These pedicels are slender, light green, and hairless. Each flower is ½–1" across; it has a green hairless calyx with 5 lanceolate teeth and a corolla with 5 widely spreading petal-like lobes. The petal-like lobes are obovate in shape, tapering to slender pointed tips; they are often reddish near the center of the flower, where the reproductive organs occur. Each flower has 5 stamens and a slender style. The blooming period occurs from mid-summer to early fall and lasts about 1½ months. Usually, only a few flowers are in bloom at the same time. Each flower is replaced by a globoid seed capsule that is green and shiny; it is surrounded by the spreading teeth of the persistent calyx. Each capsule contains several seeds. The root system consists of a taproot and rhizomes. This wildflower reproduces by its seeds or vegetatively through its rhizomes. Cultivation

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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