|Also known as:||Purple Milkwort|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; dry sandy soil, prairies, open meadows, open woods|
|Bloom season:||June - August|
|Plant height:||6 to 12 inches|
|USDA PLANTS database:||Minnesota county distribution map|
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Purple/pink to nearly white flowers are spaced out on a spike-like raceme 1 to 3 inches long at the top of the stem. Flowers are ¼ to 3/8 inch across with 2 wing-like sepals flanking 2 petals rolled into a column in the center, with a fringed crest.
Leaves are to 1 inch long and 1/6 inch wide, toothless, hairless, usually wider at the tip end, tapering to a narrow or blunt point at the tip with no leaf stem. There are usually multiple, unbranched stems emerging from a sturdy taproot. The stems may be erect but often fan out from the center of the clump, each stem leaning over or sprawling along the ground with the tip rising up (decumbent).
This species also has small underground flowers on short underground stems that produce seed asexually (cleistogamous), though a few upper flowers can do this as well.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Wild River State Park, Center City, MN June 2008 and July 2009. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken at Boot Lake SNA, Anoka County and a private spruce nursery in SE Isanti County
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?