Plant: perennial herb; 3-8 dm tall, foliage glabrous or sparsely pubescent Leaves: lanceolate to linear, the lower ones 3-9 cm long, 4-18 mm broad, the upper ones 3-7 cm long, 2-5 mm broad INFLORESCENCE: a terminal, compound cyme Flowers: calyx lobes subulate, glabrous, ciliate along the margins, or densely pubescent, 2-7 mm long; corolla tube 8-15(-17) mm long, broadest below the apex, moderately constricted at the orifice, the lobes (2-)4-7 mm long Fruit: terete, 2-13 cm long. SEEDS cylindrical, corky, 6-10 mm long, 1.0-2.5 mm broad Misc: Mostly along watercourses in desert grasslands and mesquite scrublands; 750-1500 m (2500-5000 ft); Mar-May REFERENCES: McLaughlin, Steven, P. 1994. Apocynaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 27, 164-168.
McLaughlin 1994, Austin 2010
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Herbaceous perennial, from woody rootstock, 30-80 cm tall, foliage glabrous or sparsely pubescent; stems erect-ascending with many branches from the base. Leaves: Alternate, cauline, lanceolate to linear, the lower leaves 3-9 cm long, 4-18 mm broad, the upper leaves reduced, 3-7 cm long, 2-5 mm broad. Flowers: Inflorescence a terminal, compound cyme; calyx lobes 5, subulate, glabrous, ciliate along the margins, or densely pubescent, 2-7 mm long; corolla tube 8-15 mm long, the lobes 4-7 mm long, blue-white. Fruits: A pair of elongated, terete capsules (follicles), 2-13 cm long; seeds cylindrical, corky, 6-10 mm long, 1-3 mm broad. Ecology: Found mostly along watercourses in riparian forests, desert grasslands, mesquite scrublands and pinyon juniper woodlands; 2,500-5,000 ft (750-1500 m); flowers March-May. Distribution: n, c and se AZ, c and s NM, sw TX, n MEX. Notes: An occasional herb in washes, floodplains and riparian areas, look for the bunches of erect-ascending, dark green stems coming from a single base, milky sap, mostly linear dark-green leaves,flowers with a narrow blue-white tube widening abruptly to 5 white lobes and pods which often become white-tan and remain on the plant after releasing seeds. Ethnobotany: No known uses although several species of Amsonia are ornamentals and others contain alkoloids. Etymology: Amsonia is named for Charles Amson, American physician who lived in Virginia in 1760 and was a friend of prominent physician, botanist and plant collector John Clayton. Palmeri commemorates Edward Palmer, 1831-1911, physician and collector of large numbers of plants and animals of the southwest. Synonyms: Amsonia hirtella, Amsonia hirtella var. pogonosepala, Amsonia pogonosepala, Amsonia standleyi Editor: FSCoburn 2014, AHazelton 2015
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