IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

Read full entry


This native perennial plant is unbranched and ¾–3' tall. Older plants may tiller at the base and send up multiple stems, creating a bushy effect. The central stem is slightly ridged and hairless. The odd-pinnate compound leaves alternate as they ascend the stem. They consist of 3-7 leaflets and tend to be quite short, approximately 2-5" long. Each leaflet is dark green, linear in shape, and about 1" long and 1/8" across. There are scattered translucent dots across the surface. At the top of the plant is a dense cylindrical spike of flowers about 1-2" long and about half as much or less across. Each purple flower is about 1/3" across, with 5 small petals and 5 golden anthers that protrude outward. These flowers bloom together as a flowery wreath at the bottom of the spike, which gradually moves upward at the season progresses. There is no noticeable floral scent. The blooming period occurs from early to mid-summer, and lasts about 1-1½ months. The root system consists of a stout taproot that runs deep into the ground. The seeds travel only a short distance from the mother plant when the cylindrical spikes are shaken by the wind. Cultivation


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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Belongs to 1 community


EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!