IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This is a perennial plant about 1½-3½' tall that branches occasionally. The stems are light green, angular or terete, and glabrous to slightly pubescent. Alternate leaves occur along these stems; they have long petioles. Individual leaves are 1½-3¼" long and similarly across; they are palmately lobed (3-7 primary lobes each). Individual lobes are irregularly pinnatifid and dentate. Generally, the primary lobes of the leaves are moderately deep, while the secondary lobes are more shallow; lower leaves are less deeply lobed than upper leaves. The upper leaf surface is yellowish green to dark green and glabrous, while the lower leaf surface is light green and glabrous to slightly pubescent. The petioles are as long as the leaves or longer; they are light green and glabrous to slightly pubescent. The upper and lateral stems terminate in clusters of flowers. Each flower is 1½-2½" across, consisting of 5 white to pink petals, 5 light green sepals, and a white columnar structure with the reproductive organs. Individual petals are obcordate-obdeltate with somewhat ragged outer margins; sometimes they have fine radiating veins that are rosy pink. The sepals are about one-third the length of the petals, ovate in shape, and densely pubescent; they are joined together at the base. Underneath the sepals of each flower, there are 3 sepal-like bracts that are ovate in shape and densely pubescent; they are a little shorter than the sepals. Pedicels and peduncles of the flowers are light green, densely pubescent, and rather short (less than 2" in length). The blooming period occurs during the summer for 1-2 months. Individual flowers are short-lived. Each flower is replaced by a ring of mericarps (hardened structures containing one or more seeds). For this species, each mericarp contains a single seed. The mericarps are about ¼" long, reniform, and hairless. This plant reproduces by reseeding itself.


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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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