Cruciata pedemontana (Bellardi) Ehrend.
Family: Rubiaceae
Cruciata pedemontana image
Annual herb with a thin taproot 10 - 35 cm tall Leaves: in whorls of four, soon curving downward, stalkless, 3 - 11 mm long, 2 - 4 mm wide, egg-shaped to elliptic to narrowly lance-shaped with a pointed tip, one-veined, hairy, hairy-fringed (ciliate), and revolute (rolled downward along the margins). Inflorescence: a small, axillary cluster (cymule) of two to four flowers raised on a short stalk. Usually two cymules per axil. Flowers: yellow, 0.5 - 1.2 mm wide, more or less flat and circular in outline, with four short lobes. Stamens four, alternating with lobes, shorter than corolla. Anthers yellowish orange. Styles two, short. Fruit: dry, indehiscent, to 1.5 mm wide, spherical, paired, separating when ripe, one-seeded. Stems: multiple from base, more or less upright, unbranched, slender, four-angled, with spreading hairs and recurved prickles.

Similar species: No information at this time.

Flowering: late April to late September

Habitat and ecology: Introduced from Europe. Restricted to the eastern edge of the Chicago Region, where it has been found growing in cemeteries. Typically found in disturbed sites.

Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native

Etymology: Cruciata means crossed, or "in the form of a cross." Pedemontana means "of or from Piedmont, Italy."

Author: The Morton Arboretum