Conobea multifida (Michx.) Benth. - Fernald

Conobea multifida plant

Family - Scrophulariaceae

Stems - To 20cm tall (typically shorter), erect, herbaceous, branching, terete, densely glandular pubescent, from a taproot.

Conobea multifida stem

Leaves - Opposite, decussate, pinnatifid to bipinnatifid in the apical 1/2, glandular pubescent, to 1.8cm long, 1.3cm broad. Ultimate leaf divisions linear to oblong or oblanceolate, entire.

Conobea multifida leavesPressed leaves.

Inflorescence - Typically single flowers from upper leaf axils. Pedicels to 3mm in flower, slightly longer in fruit, densely glandular pubescent.

Flowers - Corolla bilabiate, pale blue to lilac, to +4mm long, glabrous externally, sparse pilose internally. Upper lip single-lobed. The lobe with a notched at the apex, to -2mm broad, -1mm long. Lower lip 3-lobed. The lobes mostly equal, to 1.2mm long. Corolla tube to 2.5-3mm long, expanded and white at the base. Stamens 4, didynamous, adnate near middle of corolla tube, included. Filaments to 1.3mm long, white, glabrous. Anthers pale yellow to white .1-.2mm broad. Ovary superior, green, glabrous, +/-1mm long in flower, ovoid, 2-locular. Ovules many. Placentation axile. Style 1.1mm long, glabrous, green. Stigma 2-lobed. Sepals 5, barely united at the base for -1mm, to +2mm long in flower, +4mm in fruit, .3mm broad, linear-attenuate, slightly spreading at the tips or erect, glandular pubescent. Calyx accrescent. Capsule green, glabrous, 2-valved.

Conobea multifida flower

Conobea multifida flowerCorolla and calyx.

Flowering - May - October.

Habitat - Gravel bars of streams, moist ground of fields and prairies, mud flats, low woods, roadsides.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This is one of those plants that most people would see as a weed in need of a good shower of "Round-Up". Closer inspection, however, reveals a neat little plant with very nice yet small flowers. The plant can be found throughout most of Missouri except may of the northern counties.
A synonym is Leucospora multifida (Michx.) Nutt.

Photographs taken on the Current River, Shannon County, MO., 7-15-03.


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