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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Slender Phlox-Microsteris gracilis

This delicate flower is easily overlooked due to its diminutive size. With its trumpet-shaped flowers adapted for pollination by lepidopterans, it can be identified as a member of the Phlox Family (Polemoniaceae). The other distinguishing feature to look for in Phlox Family flowers is the presence of three (rather than two) stigma lobes or style branches. 

This is slender phlox (Microsteris gracilis), commonly seen with its diminutive counterpart, blue-eyed Mary. "Microsteris" means small stem and "gracilis" means slender.

As the plants age, their basal leaves turn red.

Flowers can be white or pink. For more information on slender phlox, click here.

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