File Size: 75 KB
Eryngium leavenworthii  T. & G.
Greenwood County, Kansas
Height: 1-3 feet
Family: Apiaceae - Parsley Family
Flowering Period:   July, August, September
Stems: Erect, stout, branched above, glabrous, purplish.
Leaves: Alternate; lower stem leaves short stalked, broadly oblanceolate, 1 to 2.5 inches long, to .75 inch wide; upper stem leaves sessile, broadly ovate to circular, deeply palmately divided into narrow, spiny segments.
Inflorescences: Heads, ovoid-oblong, 1 to 1.5 inches long, 1 inch wide, purplish, terminal; bracts, spiny, pinnately cleft, subtending heads and projecting from tops of heads.
Flowers: Tiny, whitish to purple; petals 5; stamens 5, bluish.
Fruits: Dry, oblong, covered with whitish scales.
Habitat: Dry, rocky prairies, roadsides, open woodlands, and waste areas, most abundant on limestone or chalk soils.
Distribution: Principally southeast quarter of Kansas.
Comments: At first glance, this plant resembles a thistle, but it is actually a member of the parsley family. Named for its discoverer, Melines Conklin Leavenworth (1796-1862), an explorer, army surgeon, and botanist.

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