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DescriptionThis plant is an introduced winter annual about ½2' tall that is erect and branches occasionally. The hairless stems are medium green, terete, and often slightly grooved. The alternate leaves are up to 3" long and 1½" across; they are irregularly bipinnatifid and ascending. The lobes of mature leaves are medium green, hairless, and filiform (worm-like and circular in cross-section); however, the lobes of young leaves during the spring are often linear (flattened in cross-section). The upper stems terminate in individual flowers spanning about ¾1½" across. Each flower has 5 petal-like sepals, 5 insignificant petals, 5 carpels that are joined together, and numerous stamens. The petal-like sepals are usually pale metallic blue, although other colors are possible; they are elliptic in shape and widely spreading. Immature carpels are green and hairless; each carpel has a beak-like style that is also green and resembles one of the lobes of the leaves. Underneath each flower, there is a whorl of about 5 bipinnatifid bracts that are very similar to the leaves in appearance; their lobes are hairless, green, and filiform. The blooming period usually occurs from late spring to mid-summer and lasts about 1-2 months for a colony of plants. However, some plants may bloom later if they germinated during the spring, rather than the fall. Each flower is replaced by a large ovoid fruit consisting of 5 beaked follicles (seed capsules) that are joined together in the center. These follicles turn brown at maturity and split open to release their seeds; there are numerous seeds per follicle. The small seeds are somewhat flattened and black. The root system is fibrous. This plant reproduces are reseeding itself.