Agalinis heterophylla (Nutt.) Small ex Britton
Family - Scrophulariaceae
Habit - Annual hemiparasitic forb.
Stems - Erect, to 80 cm, 4-angled and ridged, glabrous or roughened on the angles, usually well branched above the midpoint.
Leaves - Opposite, usually lacking axillary fascicles. Blades ascending, 15-35 mm long, those of the largest leaves 2-6 mm wide, linear-lanceolate, those of the lower leaves sometimes deeply 3-lobed or -parted (these often withered by flowering), the upper surface and margins moderately roughened, the undersurface roughened along the midvein
Inflorescence - Spikelike racemes, the flower stalks 1-3 mm long at flowering (shorter than the calyces), not or only slightly elongating at fruiting, usually curved outward.
Flowers - Calyces 5-10 mm long, bell-shaped, longer than wide at flowering, the lobes 3-6 mm long, usually noticeably longer than the tube, stiff, narrowly lanceolate-triangular, glabrous, the sinuses between the lobes variously narrowly to broadly V-shaped or somewhat U-shaped. Corollas 20-32 mm long, pink to pinkish purple, the tube densely and finely short-hairy externally, the throat pale or white with dark purple spots, glabrous, the lobes glabrous internally but fringed along the margins, the upper 2 lobes spreading to somewhat bent backward.
Fruits - Globose, glabrous, 5-8 mm long.
Flowering - August - September.
Habitat - Prairies, moist swales, roadsides.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This species is uncommon in Missouri, so far reported from only four counties. Its main range is to our south, in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. The plant can be identified by its habitat, three-lobed lower leaves, short pedicels, large calyces with prominent lobes, and pink flowers. The pedicels are equal to or shorter than the calyx tube. The three-lobed lower leaves are typically dried by the time the flowers appear.
Photographs taken off Hwy 65 near Gould, AR., 9-8-06.