Viewed 238 Times as of July 7, 2011
Taken May 7, 2010 – Bridgton, Maine
Canon Rebel XSi with 100mm Macro Lens
This adventive annual plant is about 4-12" long, branching occasionally. Mature plants have a tendency to sprawl across the ground. The slender stems are terete and pubescent. The lower leaves are opposite, while the upper leaves are alternate. Individual leaves are typically 1/2" long and 1/3" across; they are medium to dark green, oval-orbicular, coarsely crenate-dentate, and slightly hairy. The petioles of the leaves are short.
Solitary flowers develop from the axils of the upper leaves. Each flower is about 1/3" across, consisting of a corolla with 4 petal-like lobes and a calyx with 4 prominent teeth. The corolla is blue-violet, becoming white toward the center; it has dark blue-violet lines that radiate from the center of the flower. One lobe of the corolla is a little smaller than the others. The reproductive organs consist of a pistil with a single style and 2 stamens. The teeth of the green calyx are lanceolate and slightly ciliate; they are shorter than the lobes of the corolla. The pedicels of the flowers are about ½–¾" in length. The blooming period typically occurs from mid-spring to early summer and lasts about 1-2 months. Plants tend to fade away during the heat of the summer. Each flower is replaced by a 2-celled seed capsule that is flattened and slightly heart-shaped; the [Distribution Map] seed capsule is more wide than tall (about 1/3" across and 1/4" tall). Each cell of the seed capsule contains several small seeds. Individual seeds are ovoid in shape, but strongly concave on one side. The root system consists of a mass of slender fibrous roots. This plant reproduces by reseeding itself, and sometimes forms colonies.