Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Purple Gerardia (Agalinis purpurea)
- Family: Figwort (Scrophulariaceae)
- Flowering: July-October.
- Field Marks: All species of Agalinis have narrow, opposite leaves and showy purple flowers with 5 petals united into an inflated tube. The purple gerardia differs from all others by its very short flower stalks and its slightly rough stems.
- Habitat: Wet woods, marshes, wet meadows, edges of ponds and lakes.
- Habit: Annual herb from tufted roots.
- Stems: 1-several, erect, slightly rough to the touch, up to 3 feet tall, with many spreading branches.
- Leaves: Opposite, simple, linear to linear-lanceolate, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, somewhat rough on the upper surface, without teeth, up to 1/6 inch wide.
- Flowers: Several in the axils of the upper leaves, bright pink-purple, up to 1 1/2 inches long, bilaterally symmetrical.
- Sepals: 5, green, united to form a tube 1/6 inch long.
- Petals: 5, pink-purple, united below to form a tube up to 1 1/2 inches long.
- Stamens: 4, not exserted beyond the corolla tube.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Capsules spherical, about 1/6 inch diameter, with numerous small seeds.
- Notes: This showy species grows in a variety of wetland habitats. It is grazed upon by deer.
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