Viewed 597 Times as of January 12, 2013
Taken June 22, 2011 – North Bridgton, Maine
Canon Rebel XSi with Canon 100mm Macro Lens
Pink family (Caryophyllaceae)
Description: This adventive annual or biennial plant is about 1-2½’ tall and very slender in appearance. It branches sparingly above the widely spaced pairs of leaves. The stems are slender, round, and stiff. They have patches of fine white hairs beneath each opposite pair of leaves, otherwise they are mostly glabrous. The opposite leaves are up to 3" long and 1/8" across. They are linear (although wider at the base), sessile, and usually slightly pubescent. The base of each pair of leaves wraps around the stem in a sheath, where the stem is somewhat broader and knobby. The upper stems terminate in small clusters of pink flowers. The flowering stalks (peduncles) are more hairy than the stems, otherwise they are similar in appearance. Each flower is about 1/3" across, consisting of 5 spreading petals, a tubular green calyx with 5 teeth, 10 stamens with pink anthers, and 2 styles. The petals are pink with small white dots. Each petal is wedge-shaped at its base, and crenate or dentate toward its outer edge. The pubescent calyx is about ¾" long. It has about 10-22 fine nerves running along its length. There are usually 3 narrow leaf-like bracts that are about as long as the calyx at the base of the flower. Each cluster of flowers and bracts often have V-shape. Each flower is replaced by an elongated seed capsule containing numerous seeds. Each seed is orbicular or reniform and flattened with small bumps across its surface. The root system consists of a slender taproot. This plant spreads by reseeding itself.