Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wildflower Wednesday: Prairie False-Foxglove

Today is Wildflower Wednesday, Gail of Clay and Limestone's meme for native plant lovers. As I was driving to the Arbor Gate on Saturday, I saw stands of small pink flowers growing wild along the roadside. Being pressed for time, I told myself I would stop on the way back to investigate. But I came home a different way ... so I jotted myself a note, which has been lost in the clutter of the little red truck.

Much to my delight, as I was ferrying the Garden Terrierist to a grooming appointment, I spotted the same flowers growing along the back road that leads to the shopping center.  After dropping Annie off at the pretty parlor, I trundled down the road a bit and stopped to get a closer look at the blooms.  I didn't swoon but I came close ... I am entranced, I am enamored, I am enthused by the delicate beauty of this flower!


Agalinis heterophylla, known as Prairie False-Foxglove or Prairie Agalinis, is a member of the Scrophulariaceae family.  According to the information from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, it grows 1 to 3 feet tall and blooms from June through October.  That site lists it as needing part shade: while that was true of the site where I originally spotted it growing, it's in full sun where I saw it today.  It's possible that the plants receive some afternoon shade from taller vegetation nearby, though.  The long wiry stems have needlelike leaves, and not very many of those.  Since I was wearing sandals, I couldn't get far enough into its habitat to get a good look at the crown of the plant where it emerged from the soil.  I managed to gently wrest one plant from the ground with root intact and I'm hoping I can get it to grow or reseed in my gardens.  

Trundle yourself on over to Gail's blog and check out the other Wildflower Wednesday posts!

10 comments:

fairegarden said...

Oh what a marvelous plant, Cindy! I am so glad you wrestled one to come live at Wit's End! And that you so successfully got the ID and info. :-)
Frances

Gail said...

Cindy, It is entrancing! I love it and wonder where I can locate it and if I can get it to grow here! I am thrilled that you were able to get a section and I know with tlc it will be thriving there on the cottage corner! gail isn't LBJWC a great resource!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

That is just lovely! And finding it flourish while taking care of itself bodes well for it doing the same in your garden.

Elizabeth Barrow said...

I have this too! I'm so excited to see your identification of it. I had tentatively ID'd it as Agalinis, but wasn't sure. I'm going to have to go out stalking some for my west side.

LindaCTG said...

Ooh, now I've gotta look for this one. Thanks for stopping!

Rose said...

Thanks for introducing me to this charming little plant, Cindy! I just checked my Illinois Wildflowers book, and, while not common, it does grow in Illinois, too--but here it blooms August through October. I'll have to be on the lookout for it here.

Good luck with your transplanting. Last year I dug up what I thought was a native phlox from the roadside, which caused a lot of curiosity from some of the neighbors:) Once I transplanted it, it promptly died:)

Kathy said...

I just love discovering new plants, especially locally. That is pretty, but I just bet it won't grow this far north!

Cindy, MCOK said...

Thanks, y'all! The one I yanked and potted is a crispy critter. I shall return to the back road this week with a shovel and do some proper digging but I expect they're one of those that don't like transplanting. I'm hoping I can search out seeds online.

Cindy, MCOK said...

I just found seeds at Prairie Moon Nursery online. http://www.prairiemoon.com/seeds/wildflowers-forbs/agalinis-tenuifolia-slender-gerardia/

dharma3 said...

I live in south Alabama and this grows wild in my back field. In areas where it gets no shade it grows taller and gets more flowers. Ones in shadier areas dont seem to bloom at all sometimes