Triodanis perfoliata [L.] Nieuwl. var. perfoliata (Legousia perfoliata (L.) Britt., Specularia perfoliata [L.] A. DC.)
Erect, annual herbaceous plant reaching 75 cm in height but more commonly < 40 cm. Leaves are alternate with serrate edges, broadly ovate, slightly hairy and clasping a weak stem. Flowers chasmogamous, borne in the axils of upper and middle leaves with bright bluish-purple, tubular, five-lobed petals. Fruit a shiny black capsule, oblong to narrowly egg-shaped, opening above the middle when mature (Douglas et al., 2002; Justice and Bell, 1968; and Radford et al., 1968). Photo by Vince Scheidt.
Common weed species growing in waste places, disturbed sites, pastures, prairies, and roadsides (Seyermark, 1963). Dry woods and open sites (Justice and Bell, 1968).
Coarse-textured and free draining (Justice and Bell, 1968; Haddock, 2000).
Dry to moderately dry soils (Douglas et al., 2002).
Full sun to partial shade (Seyermark, 1963).
Pioneer seral species on moister sites. Possible climax species on dry sites (USDA, 2002).
bec zone subzone status
Infrequent occurrence on S.E. Vancouver Island in association with Lathyrus nevasensis, Cammassia quamash and Dodecatheon hendersonii (Specimen notes, University of Victoria Herbarium).
Useful for attracting pollinating insects. Fibrous roots have the capacity to stabilize disturbed soils (USDA, 2002; Haddock 2000).
Attracts mega-chilid bee, sphecid wasps, leatherwing beetles (Gara and Meunhow, 1990).
Annual species but possible to mass in beds for pleasing purple colour.
Used as an intestinal medicine by many aboriginal peoples (Moerman, 1998).
May - June
fruit ripening time
June - July
seed collection time
June - August
collection and abstraction
Collect capsules by hand into collection bags. Allow to dry, and then shake collection bags to release seeds.
fruit seed dormancy treatment
Sow seeds outdoors in flats or containers in late summer or early fall and allow dormancy to be broken naturally.
Not applicable to annual species.
additional info and photos
For more information and pictures, visit the E-Flora BC website at www.eflora.bc.ca.