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Small Venus' Looking-glass

Triodanis biflora
(Triodanis perfoliata var. biflora)
(Specularia biflora)

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Small Venus' Looking-glass, Triodanis biflora, photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed along Mesquite Wash, Maricopa Co., Arizona. May 2008. The insect in upper image is a nectar-feeding, Syrphid Fly. Close-up of fruit in lower image shows open pore-windows.

FRUIT: Dry capsule with many seeds opening by a pair of curious pores with roll-up doors. The ovary - seed capsule is inferior, i.e. it develops below the sepals and petals.

ANNUAL: Delicate annual of mid to late spring consisting of one or a few upright stems scarcely surpassing 45 cm tall.

RANGE: Fairly frequent in the higher elevations of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico. Restricted to moister habitats along sandy washes.

FLOWERS: Five, blue-violet petals. The lower flowers on the stem do not open up (cleistogamous) and produce seed by self-pollination.

LEAVES: Narrow, lance-shaped leaves alternate on stem. Bases usually not clasping the stem.

UNARMED. Thornless.

Campanulaceae -- Bellflower Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010