Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pencilflower (Stylosanthes biflora)

(Photos: 6/14/09 by Marvin)

Pencilflower (Stylosanthes biflora)

Other common name: Sidebeak Pencilflower

Status: Native perennial herb.

Family: Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Range: Most of the eastern United States.

Habitat: Rocky open woods, glades, prairies, usually on acid substrates.

Flowering: May - September.

Comments: The "pencil" and "stylos" (stylus) in the vernacular and scientific names both refer to the hollow receptacle that surrounds the pistil.

Although this wildflower is fairly common in the easter U. S., it is often overlooked because the plant is low-growing and the flowers are tiny.

Sources and additional information/images:
Kansas Wildflowers & Grasses
Missouri Plants
USDA Plant Profile and Distribution Map
2bn Thye Wild
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center



Anonymous said...

Beautiful photo! I am also enjoying all the text info you include with your photos

Jason Riedy said...

Oh yes, that's a pea. Neat! Wonder how many I've missed.

K T Cat said...


Louise said...

This is beautiful. I don't think I've seen it before.(Or at least I've overlooked it... but I usually notice flowers, even the tiny ones.)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You really brought those flowers to the fore. A yellow pea. I think of those flowers of the pink, red, blue hue. Great shots Marvin.

Pat - Arkansas said...

You find the loveliest tiny flowers, Marvin. Thanks for the info.

laughingwolf said...

beautiful, so orchid-like :D

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Marvin. This looks exactly like one we have here and I am wondering if they are the same. I must check and find out more about it.

Pablo said...

Hey, that looks a lot like the one I have posted on my blog today!

Q said...

Thank you for the flower and the id!
I saw some of these while walking in the woods and wondered what they were.
I would like to get back to learning the wildflowers. The woods are full of wonders.
Birds, bugs and blooms keep me busy!

Anonymous said...

Lovely color - the native flowers are always so interesting. It's hard to walk, though, if you have to keep looking up (for cool birds) as well as down (for cool plants).