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This introduced plant is a perennial in areas with mild winters, otherwise it is an annual. It is about 2-4' tall and branches frequently. The smooth stems are greyish green and finely pubescent (canescent). The alternate leaves are up to 6" long and 4" across. They are ovate or cordate-ovate, smooth or slightly undulate along the margins, and finely pubescent on the underside (young leaves are finely pubescent on on the upperside as well). Each leaf is usually asymmetric at the base (oblique). Individual flowers develop on short pedicels where the upper stems branch dichotomously. Each white flower is about 5-7" long and 3-4" across. The corolla has 5 shallow lobes that are barely perceptible; there is a short point between each pair of lobes along the rim of the corolla. Five white stamens are exerted from the center of the corolla. The base of the flower consists of a tubular calyx that has 5 broad teeth along its upper rim; this calyx extends to about ½ the length of the flower, and it lacks conspicuous ridges or wings. The blooming period occurs from mid-summer to fall and lasts about 1-2 months. The flowers often bloom during the day. Each flower is replaced by a prickly seed capsule about 1" across. Each capsule contains several seeds that are large and angular. The root system consists of a taproot. This plant reproduces by reseeding itself. Cultivation


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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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