Zeltnera texensis (Griseb.) G. Mans. ex J.S. Pringle
Lady Bird's Mountain-Pink, Texas Centaury
CC = 9
CW = 5
MOC = 9
Family - Gentianaceae
Habit - Annual or biennial forb, glabrous.
Stem - To 30 cm, usually branched, square in cross section, glabrous.
Leaves - Opposite, simple, sessile, linear to narrowly lanceolate, 1-8 mm wide, glabrous.
Inflorescences - Open panicles or clusters.
Flowers - Calyces deeply lobed, appressed to the corolla tube, the lobes keeled, 6-10 mm long. Corollas trumpet-shaped, 12-18 mm long, pink, rarely white, the tube 8-11 mm long and lobes 4-7 mm long. Stamens exserted, anthers spirally twisted after dehiscence. Ovaries 1 per flower, elongate, sessile, the style 1, slender, elongate, the stigma capitate, 2-lobed.
Fruits - Thin-walled capsules, oblong to fusiform, protected by the persistent calyces and dried corollas, longitudinally dehiscent.
Flowering - June - September.
Habitat - Calcareous glades.
Origin - Native to the U.S.
Lookalikes - None.
Other info. - Due to its diminutive stature, this little plant is easily overlooked despite its pink flowers. In Missouri it is found mainly on glades in the southwestern part of the state, where it is fairly common. Its main distribution is a tight cluster in the central part of Texas. When flowering the plant is easily recognized by its small pink flowers, long calyces, and habitat. Fruiting plants may be recognized by the distinctive fruits.
Photographs taken at Glade Top Trail National Scenic Byway, Ozark County, MO, 6-30-2011, 8-15-2023, and 8-16-2023, and the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area, Taney County, MO, 7-28-2016 (SRTurner).