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Starry Campion

Starry Campion

Starry Campion

via GIPHY

This herbaceous perennial plant is 1–2�' tall and usually erect. It is unbranched or branched sparingly. The terete central stem and any lateral stems are mostly pale green to pale reddish green, hairless to densely pubescent, and somewhat swollen at the bases of leaves, where it is sometimes reddish purple. The lowermost and uppermost leaves are usually opposite, while the middle leaves occur in whorls of 4. They are up to 4" long and 1�" across, elliptic or lanceolate in shape, smooth along the margins, and sessile. The upper surface of each leaf is yellowish green, greyish green, or medium green, and hairless, while the lower leaf surface is more pale and hairless to finely pubescent. The central stem terminates in a panicle of flowers up to 8" long and about 3-4" across. On robust plants, 1-2 additional panicles may be produced from upper lateral stems. Pairs of small leafy bracts occur wherever a panicle branches. The erect central stalk, ascending branches, and clustered pedicels of the panicle are pale to medium green, terete, and hairless to finely pubescent. The flowers occur individually or in groups of 2-3 at the tips of long lateral branches on short pedicels. These pedicels are less than �" long.

Flower

via GIPHY

This herbaceous perennial plant is 1–2�' tall and usually erect. It is unbranched or branched sparingly. The terete central stem and any lateral stems are mostly pale green to pale reddish green, hairless to densely pubescent, and somewhat swollen at the bases of leaves, where it is sometimes reddish purple. The lowermost and uppermost leaves are usually opposite, while the middle leaves occur in whorls of 4. They are up to 4" long and 1�" across, elliptic or lanceolate in shape, smooth along the margins, and sessile. The upper surface of each leaf is yellowish green, greyish green, or medium green, and hairless, while the lower leaf surface is more pale and hairless to finely pubescent. The central stem terminates in a panicle of flowers up to 8" long and about 3-4" across. On robust plants, 1-2 additional panicles may be produced from upper lateral stems. Pairs of small leafy bracts occur wherever a panicle branches. The erect central stalk, ascending branches, and clustered pedicels of the panicle are pale to medium green, terete, and hairless to finely pubescent. The flowers occur individually or in groups of 2-3 at the tips of long lateral branches on short pedicels. These pedicels are less than �" long.

Each flower is about �" across, consisting of 5 white fringed petals, a light green calyx that is bell-shaped (campanulate) with 5 broad teeth along its upper rim, a pistil with 3 slender white styles, and 10 stamens with slender white filaments. Each fringed petal has 8-12 linear lobes along its broad outer edge, while at the base it becomes quite narrow. The outer surface of each calyx is light green and hairless to finely pubescent; it often has faint longitudinal veins that are a darker shade of green. The blooming period occurs during mid- to late summer, lasting about 3-4 weeks. There is no noticeable floral scent. The flowers remain open during the evening, night, and early morning. In the presence of bright sunlight, they have a tendency to close-up during the middle of the day. Each flower is replaced by an ovoid seed capsule with 6 teeth along its upper rim; each capsule contains several seeds. The flattened seeds are reniform or reniform-orbicular with a fine pebbly surface. The root system consists of a deep white taproot. An older plant may tiller from its base, sending up multiple stems from the same taproot. Starry Campion reproduces by reseeding itself. (Source: www.illinoiswildflowers.info)

 

 

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