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Purple False Foxglove

Agalinis purpurea


This annual plant is 1–2½' tall, branching occasionally. It has a tendency to sprawl in the absence of supportive vegetation. The dark green stems are grooved and hairless. The opposite leaves are 1-3" long, dark green, and linear. They have smooth margins and a prominent midvein. The leaves are usually hairless, although new growth may be slightly pubescent. Secondary leaves may develop from the axils of the primary leaves along the central stem, but they are smaller in size than the latter. Some of the upper stems develop racemes of flowers. These flowers are up to 1" long and across, and vary in color from lavender to purple. The corolla of each flower is tubular and has 5 spreading lobes that are ciliate, consisting of 2 upper lobes, 2 sides lobes, and a lower lobe. Within the throat of the corolla there are specks of dark purple and 2 patches of pale yellow. There are abundant white hairs within the corolla where the reproductive organs are located. The anthers are pale yellow and the narrow style is white. The green calyx is tubular and divided into 5 triangular lobes. These lobes are one-half the length of the calyx tube or less. The calyx is hairless and has little or no reticulation. The blooming period occurs from late summer until the fall, and lasts about a month. There is no noticeable floral scent. After the flowers are fertilized and wither away, there develops rounded capsules that are a little longer than the calyx tube. These capsules contain numerous tiny seeds. When the capsules split open at the top, gusts of wind can distribution the seeds a considerable distance. The root system is fibrous and possibly parasitic on other species of plants. Purple False Foxglove spreads by reseeding itself, and does not reproduce vegetatively.

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Spotted by

Wisconsin, USA

Spotted on Sep 9, 2015
Submitted on Oct 18, 2016

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