Mirabilis linearis (Narrow-Leaved Umbrellawort) - photos and description

 

 

 

 

 

 


Two flowers are open next to each other in above photo.

 


Leaves linear to linear-lanceolate.

 

General: Plants tufted, with stems decumbent to erect. Stems leafy and sparingly hairy below, with the pedicels and calyx having long white hairs.

Flowers: Inflorescence in dense terminal panicles. Flowers funnel-form, pinkish-white, we measured flowers to 15 mm diameter. Flowers sweet-scented. Pedicels and calyx have long white hairs.

Flowers open in the evening, we observed they were not open at 5 p.m., a few were open at 6 p.m., many flowers were open at 7:30 p.m. We have tried to photograph this plant's flowers at 8 a.m. but they were already spent.

Leaves: Leaves mostly opposite, with short stalks, waxy, glaucous, linear to linear-lanceolate, the leaf highlighted above was 50 mm long by 5 mm wide. A few hairs on leaf margins, otherwise leaves glabrous.

Height: Height listed in Flora of the Great Plains to 100 cm, we measured plants to 33 cm tall.

Habitat: Prairie plains and hillsides, roadsides, pastures on sandy or rocky soils. Herbarium specimens for this plant have all been collected in the southwest corner of the province.

Abundance: This plant is rare, ranked as an S3 (as of 2019) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

Similar species: This plant is quite similar to Mirabilis albida, to distinguish between the two species:

- The leaves of M. albida are lanceolate and sessile, while the leaves of M. linearis are linear and have short stalks (Taxonomic Reminder for Recognizing Saskatchewan Plants).

- Leaves of M. linearis 0.1 to 1.0 cm wide, while M. albida has leaves 0.6 to 2.5 cm wide (Flora of North America).

When and where photographed: Photos taken July 19th, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. when the plants' flowers began to open, shoulder of a prairie grid road on a very windy day, about 400 km southwest of our home in Regina, SK.