Agalinis fasciculata (Ell.) Raf.

Agalinis fasciculata plant

Family - Scrophulariaceae

Stems - To +1m tall, erect, herbaceous but stout, terete near the base, angled in the apical 1/2, scaberulous, puberulent, much-branched, from a big taproot, mostly green.

Agalinis fasciculata stem

Leaves - Opposite, linear, entire, antrorse strigose, acute, to +3cm long, 1-1.5mm broad, slightly folded, with well developed axillary fascicles. Fascicles as long or longer than the subtending leaf.

Agalinis fasciculata fascicleLeaf and fascicle.

Inflorescence - Axillary racemes in the upper 2/3 of the stem. Racemes very bracteate and the inflorescence appearing as just axillary flowers. Flowers single from each leaf (bract) axil, 1-2 per node, opposite. Pedicels 3-5mm long, shorter than or equaling the calyx, glabrous, ascending. Axis of the inflorescence angled, puberulent.

Flowers - Corolla pink, to +2cm long, 5-lobed. Corolla tube densely antrorse pubescent externally, mostly glabrous internally, contracted in the basal 5mm (the portion surrounded by the calyx). Corolla tube with pink spots and two yellow stripes internally (ventrally). Corolla lobes rounded, with pilose margins, to +1cm broad, 1cm long, spreading, the upper two pilose-bearded at the base internally. Stamens 4, didynamous, mostly included. Filaments pale pink to whitish, pink pilose, to +1cm long, adnate at the apex of the contracted portion of the corolla tube. Anthers whitish, pilose dorsally, +/-3mm long, 1.5mm broad, with two acute basal lobes. Style 1, exserted beyond the corolla and from between the stamens, pale purple basally, whitish at the apex, mostly glabrous and terete, flattened and puberulent on the margins in the apical 1/3 (the stigma). Ovary superior, green, glabrous, ovoid, to 2mm long in flower, 2-locular, with many ovules. Placentation axile. Calyx campanulate, green, glabrous, 5mm long in flower, 5-lobed. Lobes 1-1.6mm long, triangular-attenuate with a slight keel that somewhat ribs the calyx tube in the apical 1/2. Most dorsal calyx lobe slightly larger than the others.

Agalinis fasciculata corollaCorolla front view.

Agalinis fasciculata calyxCalices.

Flowering - August - October.

Habitat - Prairies, sandy open ground, thickets, woodland edges, fallow fields.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This striking species can be found mainly in southwestern Missouri. The plant can be identified by its big flowers (which have yellow stripes and pink spots internally), and its linear leaves which have well developed axillary fascicles. The plant is very common in states to the south and east and extends up the east coast to Maryland. This species reaches its inland northern limit in Missouri.
A synonym for this species is Gerardia fasciculata Ell.

Photographs taken off Lee Rd 10, Auburn, AL., 9-23-04.


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