Sabatia angularis (Linnaeus) Pursh
Gentianaceae (Gentian) Family
This biennial wildflower forms a low rosette of leaves during the 1st year, developing into an erect plant about 1 to 2½ feet tall during the 2nd year. The central stem is 4-angled, winged, and smooth. The stem is usually unbranched below and oppositely branched above. Its preferred habitat is woodlands, prairies and roadsides. Distribution is throughout the region.
The leaves are opposite on the stem; up to 1.5 inch long and 1 inch across. The color is medium green, smooth along the margin and lance-like to oval-cordate in shape. There are no leaf stalks and the leaf is slightly clasping the stem.
The upper stems terminate in small clusters of flowers. The small stalks of these flowers are ½1¼ inch long and free of hair. When they are fully open, individual flowers are 1 to 1½ inch across. Each flower has a corolla with 5 petals and 5 stamens with yellow anthers. The ovary is superior with a divided style, and a green calyx with 5 petals that are linear-lanceolate, varying in shape and in color from rose-pink to white. At the center of the flower, the petal bases are yellow to greenish yellow, presenting a small 5-sided star. The margins of this star are outlined in dark rose-pink. Flowers occur in the summer.
Fruit is a single-celled seed capsule about 1/3 inch long. Each capsule contains a multitude of tiny seeds that can be blown about by the wind or float on water.