As i was spot spraying woody brush on the road banks the other day, i came upon a tall slender plant with lovely white flowers. Being morning, it was in full reaching-for-the-sun glory and i realized i had never seen or at least not noticed this beauty before.
The query was posed with a photo on Facebook as to its identity with no correct responses. Later that evening, i drove back to my farm to spray brush again and pulled up a plant. I took more photos and sent them to my daughter-in-law who is a top notch plant identifier in addition to her agronomy degree. Within minutes, she had it nailed.
Starry Campion is a Missouri native wildflower, but is not limited to Missouri. It can be white or pink and is a member of the carnation family (Caryophyllaceae ). Here’s the official description from the Missouri Department of Conservation.
A perennial with several stiff stems having short, soft hairs. Flowers in a loose panicle, subtended by a pair of small, leaflike bracts, with a cup-shaped calyx from which 5 white, finely fringed petals protrude. Stamens are long and slender. Blooms June–September. Leaves mostly in whorls of 4, lanceolate to oval-lanceolate, sessile, opposite, to 3 inches long.
Height: usually 2½ feet.
Also called widow’s frill, this plant is a flowering forb but doesn’t seem to be desirable for most grazing mammals. I don’t know – i’ve never seen it in my pastures!
Seek out beauty!