Triosteum aurantiacum E.P. Bicknell
Red-Fruited Horse Gentian
Family - Caprifoliaceae
Stems - Erect, to 1 m, pubescent with spreading bristly hairs, sometimes also with shorter, soft, glandular hairs.
Leaves - Obovate, elliptic, or fiddle-shaped, tapered at base, not or only weakly perfoliate, variously pubescent.
Inflorescence - Flowers borne in leaf axils, most commonly 1 and less commonly 2-3 per axil.
Calyx - Lobes 8-15 mm long, margins and surfaces moderately pubescent.
Flowers - Corollas 8-15 mm, dull red to purplish red, funnelform, with oblique mouth, surface with gland-tipped hairs.
Fruits - Spherical, 7-10 mm in diameter, with persistent calyx lobes, red (orange when not fully mature), usually densely hairy at maturity.
Flowering - April - July.
Habitat - Forests, bases and ledges of bluffs.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - The colloquial names for the horse gentians are problematic, since neither the flowers
nor the fruits consistenly comply with the color epithets. The flowers of "yellow flowered" horse gentian can actually be red, and as
shown in the photos above, immature fruits of the "red fruited" horse gentian are actually orange. This is yet another example of why
scientific names are to be preferred.
Photographs taken at Cuivre River State Park, Lincoln County, MO, 5-9-2011, at Matson Hill County Park, St. Charles County, MO, 4-9-2012 and 5-12-2014, and at Glassberg Conservation Area, Jefferson County, MO, 7-10-2017 (SRTurner).