IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Description

This perennial plant is native to Illinois, or adventive from the west – more likely the latter. It is about 2-4' tall, branching occasionally. The stems are glabrous and light green; they are often angular below, becoming more round above. The dark green opposite leaves are up to 4" long and 3" across. They are cordate (somewhat triangular-shaped) and hairless, with smooth margins and short petioles. Some of the upper leaves near the flowers are much smaller and lanceolate. The upper stems terminate in clusters of magenta flowers on long stalks. Usually, there are a few hairs on these stalks and the pedicels of the flower clusters. A cluster of 3-5 flowers develop within a surrounding green bract with 5 lobes; this bract has the appearance of a calyx. These flowers are trumpet-shaped and span about ½" across, or slightly less. There are no petals; instead, a tubular calyx with 5 notched lobes functions as a corolla. At the center of each flower are 3-5 exerted stamens with yellow anthers. The blooming period is usually during the early summer and lasts about a month. There is little or no floral fragrance. The flowers typically open during the late afternoon, remain open at night, and close during the morning. The greyish brown seed is up to 3/8" long and pubescent; it has 5 ribs. The root system consists of a thick dark taproot that is fleshy or woody. This plant spreads by reseeding itself. Cultivation

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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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