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Synonyms include Clinopodium arkansanum (Nutt.) House and Satureja glabella (Michx.) Briq.
Various alkaline habitats including fens. Sometimes abundant on sandy flats that flood in spring near Lake Michigan in IL and WI.
Lesser fringed gentian, yellow monkey flower,
Sandy beaches of lakes Erie, Huron, and Michigan. Also inland in OH, WV, IL, and southern WI, and from MO to OK and TX.
Low growing, creeping perennial to 60 cm; stems glabrous but commonly minutely pubescent at the nodes, from short stolons; stems of inland plants diffusely branched and taller; stems of beach plants stiffly erect, simple or branched. Leaves ovate, petiolate, 3-10 mm; leaves of flowering stems linear, entire, 1-2 cm. Flowers 2-8 in axillary cymules from the nodes on the upper half of the plant, subtended by 2 linear bracts; pedicels 3-10 mm; calyx glabrous, 4-6 mm, the lobes acuminate; corolla pale-purple or bluish, 8-15 mm.
Flowers mid June to early October.
Wetland indicator: Facultative Wetland.
Listed as endangered in OH. Easy to grow from seed in fine vermiculite. The entire plant emits a pleasant mint fragrance.
Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY
Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.
© Michael Hough 2004