Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Downingia bicornuta Gray
- Family: Bellflower (Campanulaceae)
- Flowering: April-July
- Field Marks: The 2-lipped flowers of Downingia species are borne in the axils of the reduced uppermost leaves (bracts). The 5 stamens are united by their anthers and filaments. This species differs from others in the genus by the flower t
- Habitat: Edge of ponds, along streams, in roadside ditches, wet depressions.
- Habit: Annual herb with fibrous roots.
- Stems: Upright to ascending or even sprawling, branched or unbranched, hollow, up to 10 inches tall, smooth.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, narrowly lanceolate, up to 1 inch long, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, smooth, without teeth.
- Flowers: Borne singly in the axils of the uppermost reduced leaves (bracts), the bracts green, narrowly lanceolate, up to 3/4 inch long; flowers sessile, but appearing to be stalked because of the very slender floral tube.
- Sepals: 5, green, united below to form a slender floral tube, the lobes 1/6 to 1/4 inch long, narrowly lanceolate, smooth.
- Petals: 5, united to form 2 lips, 1/2-3/4 inch long, the upper lip darker blue than the lower, the lower lip paler blue with two large yellow or green blotches outlined in white or
yellow, with 2 purple projections at the base of the middle petal.
- Stamens: 5, not attached to the petals, with the filaments and anthers united, the anthers bearing 2 bristles at the tip that twist around each other.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior, borne at the base of the slender floral tube.
- Fruits: Capsules linear, terete, up to 3 inches long, smooth or with some stiff short hairs, twisted below, opening by means of vertical slits; seeds up to 1/24 inch long, pale brown with dark brown tips.
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