IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Description

This adventive annual plant has stems 6-10" long that are ascending or sprawling. These stems are round, dark purple, and finely pubescent. Multiple stems are produced from the base of the plant, otherwise they are little branched. The opposite leaves are widely spaced along the stems. Each leaf is about ¼" long and a little less across. It is ovate, smooth along the margins, and slightly ciliate. The upper stems terminate in small clusters of flowers; these flowers bloom only one or two at a time on pedicels about ¼" long. Each flower is about 1/5" across, consisting of 5 white petals, 5 green sepals, 10 stamens, and 3 styles. The petals are unnotched at their tips, while the sepals are lanceolate, slightly pubescent, and longer than the petals. The blooming period occurs during late spring to early summer and lasts about 1-2 months. The seed capsules are ovoid, the same length or a little shorter than the sepals, and firm in texture. Each capsule has 3 bifurcated teeth (appearing to be 6 small teeth) along its upper rim. It contains several seeds with pebbly surfaces that are gray-black and reniform. The root system consists of a taproot. This plant reproduces by reseeding itself.

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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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