(Showy Meadow Beauty - Pale Meadow Beauty)
Rhexia mariana Var. mariana (L.)
Syn: R. mariana Var. exalbida michaux
Melastomataceae (Melastoma) Family
The Maryland Meadow Beauty may also be known as Handsome Harry and Meadow Beauty.
The plant is an upright, slender, somewhat delicate perennial to 28 inches. The stems are solitary to few, branched, unequally 4-angled in the basal portion with 2 wide, rounded sides and 2 narrow, flat or indented ones. The preferred habitat is marshy areas, bogs, ditches and moist meadows. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.
The leaves are opposite on the stem; consisting of one whole part; very short leaf stalk. The leaf tapers to the tip with sides less than equal, or may form an angle to the left with the tip pinched. The margin teeth are fine. The leaf shape is usually lance-like or linear, widest in the middle.
The flowers are usually solitary or paired, rarely clustered. Each flower is bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form; 4 sepals, 4 petals; white or pale rose; eight stamens that are bent to one side near the tip. Flowers occur in the summer.
Fruit is a capsule.