PENCIL-FLOWER
File Size: 46 KB
 
Stylosanthes biflora   (L. ) B.S.P.
Woodson County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 4-24 inches
Family: Fabaceae - Bean Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July, August, September
Stems: Erect, ascending, or rarely sprawling; usually several, occasionally bushy-branched, glabrous to finely-hairy or bristly-hairy with yellowish bristles.
Leaves: Alternate, short-stalked, pinnately 3-foliolate; leaflets elliptic, oblanceolate or rarely egg-shaped, .6 to 1.6 inch long, glabrous on both surfaces, prominently veined below, entire, upper margins often with spiny teeth, tips pointed or blunt.
Inflorescences: Solitary flowers in axils of remote leaves.
Flowers: Calyces bell-shaped, 5-lobed, upper lobe of 2 united teeth; corolla papilionaceous; petals orange-yellow to whitish, often fading pinkish; banner circular, 1/5 to 2/5 inch long; keel curved upward; stamens 10, filaments united in 1 group.
Fruits: Pods, 2-segmented; lowest segment generally sterile, resembling stipe; fertile segment egg-shaped, less than 1/5 inch long, 1-seeded, net-veined, somewhat hairy to nearly glabrous, beak curved; seeds 1/10 inch long, ridged, yellowish to brown.
Habitat: Rocky or sandy open woodlands and sand prairies; acidic soils.
Distribution: Principally southeast 1/4 of Kansas.
Uses: The Cherokee steeped the root and used the beverage to treat female complaints.

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