Leavenworthia uniflora (Michx.) Britt.

Leavenworthia uniflora plant

Family - Brassicaceae

Stems - Plants mostly acaulescent, from a taproot. Scapes to +10cm long in fruit, glabrous, erect, herbaceous, multiple from the base.

Leaves - In a basal rosette, petiolate, to +5cm long, +/-1.4cm broad, glabrous. Blades deeply pinnatifid. Divisions acute, each typically with 2 or more lateral lobes. Terminal division the largest, typically 5-lobed. Leaf tissue at base of divisions tapering up the rachis and ending just before the next leaf division.

Leavenworthia uniflora leaves

Inflorescence - Single flower terminating each scape.

Flowers - Petals 4, white with yellow at base, clawed, glabrous. Claw to 2mm long. Limb 5mm long, 3mm broad, rounded to blunt at the apex. Stamens 6, didynamous(4 & 2), erect. Filaments to 5.5mm long, white, glabrous. Anthers pale yellow, 1mm long. Ovary green, cylindric, glabrous, 2-valved, 4.5mm long, 1mm in diameter. Style short and thick, -1mm long. Sepals 4, erect, whitish-green or with a pinkish-red tinge(especially at the apex), acute, entire, linear-oblong, glabrous, gibbous at base, 4.5mm long, 1.5mm broad. Siliques to 2.5cm long, glabrous, slightly compressed, beaked. Beak to 2mm long. Seeds many.

Leavenworthia uniflora fruiting plantFruiting plant.

Leavenworthia uniflora flowerFlower close-up.

Leavenworthia uniflora calyxCalyx.

Leavenworthia uniflora fruitsFruits with stalks.

Flowering - March - April.

Habitat - Limestone glades and bald knobs.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This is a neat little plant which can be found in the Ozark region of Missouri. The plant has a short growing season but is striking when in flower. It would make a good rock garden specimen and grows well from seed. This species is easily identified in the field by its pinnatifid leaves and big (for the size of the plant) flowers.

Photographs taken on Coy Bald, Mark Twain National Forest, Taney County, MO., 4-9-01.