Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
DescriptionThis native perennial wildflower is abundantly branched and 2-4' tall. The lower stems are woody with shredded gray-brown bark, while the upper stems are green and slightly winged on opposite sides. The opposite leaves are up to 3' and ¾' across (usually about one-half this size); they are linear-oblong to oblong-elliptic in shape, smooth along their margins, and hairless. The upper surfaces of the leaves are medium green, while their lower surfaces are pale green; they are sessile or taper to short petioles. The upper stems terminates in small clusters of 3-7 flowers; additional clusters of flowers may appear along the 2 upper pairs of opposite leaves. Each flower is ½1' across, consisting of 5 yellow petals, 5 green sepals, a pistil with 3 united styles, and abundant stamens. The petals are much larger than the sepals. The blooming period occurs during the summer and lasts about 2 months. Each flower is replaced by an ovoid-lanceoloid seed capsule about 1/31/2' in length. At the apex of each seed capsule, the tips of the 3 styles persist and become separated. Each seed capsule is divided into 3 cells and divides into 3 parts at maturity to release the seeds. The small seeds are narrowly oblongoid, flattened, and black. The root system is woody and branching.