Sabatia angularis (L.) Pursh



CC = 4
CW = 0
MOC = 58

© SRTurner

Family - Gentianaceae

Habit - Annual or biennial forb.

Stem - Erect, to 80 cm, glabrous, nearly square in cross-section and winged, at least in the lower half, the branches mostly opposite.

Sabatia_angularis_stem.jpg Stem and node.

© SRTurner

Leaves - Opposite, simple, sessile, entire, ovate, widest near the rounded to cordate, clasping bases, 3-7-nerved, 15-40 mm long, glabrous.

Sabatia_angularis_leaves1.jpg Leaves adaxial.

© SRTurner

Sabatia_angularis_leaf2.jpg Leaf abaxial.

© SRTurner

Inflorescence - Terminal open panicles, sometimes reduced to loose clusters.

Sabatia_angularis_inflorescence.jpg Inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Flowers - Usually 5-merous. Calyces deeply lobed, not or inconspicuously ribbed, 8-20 mm long, the lobes linear or rarely somewhat oblong, 9-18 mm long. Corollas saucer-shaped, pink to white, with a yellow spot at the base of each lobe, the lobes spathulate to elliptic, 10-22 mm long, 3-5 times as long as the short tube. Anthers spirally coiled after dehiscence. Ovaries sessile, the style slender, elongate, the stigma deeply 2-lobed.

Sabatia_angularis_calyx.jpg Calyx.

© SRTurner

Sabatia_angularis_corolla.jpg Corolla.

© SRTurner

Sabatia_angularis_corolla2.jpg White form.

© SRTurner

Sabatia_angularis_stamens.jpg Stamens and style.

© SRTurner

Fruits - Capsules, ovoid to cylindrical.

Sabatia_angularis_fruits.jpg Fruits.

© SRTurner

Flowering - June - September.

Habitat - Glades, forest openings, streambanks, prairies, fens, pastures, fields, roadsides.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Lookalikes - None.

Other info. - This attractive plant is common across most of the southeastern 2/3 of Missouri. Its wider distribution is predominantly within the southeastern continental U.S., with scattered populations extending farther north and into Canada.

The plant is easy to identify by the general appearance of the flowers and the opposite clasping leaves on a square and slightly winged stem. As shown in the top photo, two color variants exist. The pink form (sometimes called f. angularis) is the most common. The less-common white form has been called f. albiflora Raf. ex House. Steyermark claimed that the flowers have a pleasant fragrance similar to the flowers of Nabalus asper. This species is deserving of more widespread cultivation. It grows easily from seed and will propagate itself in a garden setting. The plant has been used medicinally by herbalists, sometimes under the name "bitterbloom."

Photographs taken at LaBarque Creek Conservation Area, Jefferson County, MO, 07-18-2016, Shaw Nature Reserve, Franklin County, MO, 07-20-2007, and Klondike County Park, St. Charles County, MO, 07-30-2016 (SRTurner).