Ceanothus herbaceus Raf.
Family - Rhamnaceae
Stems - Woody, multiple from base, to 1m tall, branching, ferruginous, sparse pubescent, rugose. New growth sericeous, green.
Leaves - Alternate, petiolate, stipulate. Stipules 4.5mm long, 1mm broad, pubescent, attenuate. Petioles to 7mm long, pubescent. Blades to 6cm long, -3cm broad, oblong-elliptic to lance-oblong, crenate-serrate, blunt to acute, densely pubescent(villous) and dull below, deep green and pubescent above, rounded to cuneate at base.
Inflorescence - Terminal panicles from new growth. Peduncles shorter then subtending leaf, to 2cm long, lanate. Pedicels white, to 1.4cm long, .6mm in diameter, expanding just below hypanthium.
Flowers - Petals 5, white, long clawed, spreading, glabrous, to 2.5mm long. Limb to 1.2mm broad, cupped. Stamens 5, opposite petals, erect. Filaments to 2mm long, white, glabrous. Anthers .2mm long, yellow. Style 3-lobed, 2mm long, glabrous, white. Ovary 3-locular, green, surrounded by peringynous disk. Calyx lobes 5, in-curved, white, glabrous, to 1.6mm long. Hypanthium white, 1mm long, persistent.
Fruits - 3-lobed capsules to 4.5mm broad, dark purple to black. One seed per carpel.
Flowering - April - June.
Habitat - Upland and rocky prairies, loess hills, glades, rocky woods.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - Steyermark
lists two varieties for this species in the state. The plant described above
is var. pubescens T.&G. ex Wats. A synonym for
this variety is C. herbaceous var. pubescens
(T.&G.) Shinners. This is the most common variation found in the
state. The other variety, var. ovatus, has leaves
which are glabrous to only sparse pubescent below.
Photographs taken at the James C. McCormack Conservation Area, Holt County, MO., 5-3-00 and 6-30-00.