IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This native annual plant is ½-2' tall, branching occasionally. Shorter plants are erect, while taller plants are inclined to sprawl. The slender hairless stems are initially light green, but become reddish brown. The alternate compound leaves are medium to dark green. They have petioles with nectaries that attract insects. Each compound leaf has up to 20 leaflets, which are somewhat sensitive to touch. A leaflet is about 2/3" long and 1/3" across. It is hairless and oblong. The bright yellow flowers appear along the major stems near the axils of the leaves. They are about 1" across, and have an open, irregular shape. Each flower has 5 rounded petals that vary in relative size, and there are about 10 reddish stamens. There is no floral scent. The blooming period is quite long, from mid-summer to fall. During the fall, pods develop that are initially hairy green, but later become hairless and dark brown. They are about 2½" long, ¾" across, and rather flat. The seeds are dark brown, rather flat, and slightly pitted. The root system consists of a central taproot and smaller auxillary roots.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers


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