Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
DescriptionThis wildflower is a biennial or short-lived perennial that forms a low rosette of basal leaves, from which one or more flowering stems develop that are 4-14" long. The basal leaves are ¾-2" long and ¼-½" across; they are oblanceolate to oblong-oblanceolate and pinnatifid (rarely without lobes). The terminal lobes are larger in size than the lateral lobes. The upper and lower surfaces of the basal leaves are grayish green and either short-hairy or glabrous. The stems are erect, ascending, or sprawling; they are usually short-hairy below and glabrous above, but sometimes glabrous throughout. These stems are either branched above or unbranched. The alternate leaves along each stem are ½-1½" long and up to ¼" across; they are linear-elliptic, linear-oblanceolate, or linear-oblong in shape with smooth margins (rarely lobed or sparsely dentate). The alternate leaves are grayish green, sessile, glabrous along their upper surfaces, and either glabrous or short-hairy along their lower surfaces. Each upper stem terminates in a raceme of flowers. The flowers bloom near the apex of each raceme, while seedpods develop below. Each flower spans ¼" across or a little more, consisting of 4 white petals, 4 green sepals, several stamens, and a pistil with a short style. The sepals are lanceolate with blunt tips and glabrous. The slender pedicels are ¼-½" long and glabrous. The blooming period occurs from late spring to mid-summer, lasting about 1 month. The flowers are replaced by narrowly cylindrical seedpods (siliques) that are ¾-1¾" long, ascending, glabrous, and somewhat flattened. Each seedpod contains a single row of seeds. The seeds are about 1.0 mm. long, ovoid in shape, and somewhat flattened; they do not possess winged margins of any significance. The root system consists of a taproot. This wildflower reproduces by reseeding itself.