Onagraceae (Evening Primrose) Family
Plant is an upright, tall, smooth to hairy biennial. Height may be four to eight feet at full maturity with a crown shaped somewhat like a triangle; spreading branches. Preferred habitat is fields, roadsides, rocky woods and especially rich meadows. Distribution is generally coastal in the Escambia region; however, the plants have been reported in Conecuh County, Alabama.
Leaves are alternate on the stem, consisting of one whole part. Upper leaves clasp the stem; lower leaves are stalked, lance-like, widest at the middle and tapering to the tip with sides less than equal. Leaf margins are toothed and base graduates to a narrow point.
Flowers are large, two to four inches wide, appearing at the tip of a flowering stem; bisexual and symmetrical in shape. Calyx is tubular and slightly lobed; five petals, funnel shaped, eight stamens. Flowers occur in late summer and early autumn.
Fruit is a capsule.
Of interest: During the time of Bartrams travels in the coastal region, the American Revolutionary War was in progress. For reasons unknown young William was ordered by the Territorial Governor General to leave the region or face possible imprisonment. He returned to Philadelphia where his notes were put in order. In 1791 he traveled to Europe and published his works there. His journals were entitled, The Travels of William Bartram. The book became a valuable textbook and guide for future botanists throughout the world.