E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Microsteris gracilis var. gracilis (Hook.) Greene (Hook.) Greene
pink twink
Polemoniaceae (Phlox family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Val George  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #57389)

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Distribution of Microsteris gracilis var. gracilis
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot; stems erect, sometimes decumbent, simple or branched, minutely hairy or glandular-hairy at least above, 5-30 cm tall.
Upper leaves alternate, entire, linear to lance-elliptic; lower leaves opposite, more egg-shaped; 1-5 cm long, unstalked, at least the upper leaves hairy to glandular.
Inflorescence of pairs of flowers (one stalked the other not) at the ends of the stem and branches, or single in the axils of leaf-like bracts; corollas pinkish-white, 5-15 mm long, the tube white or yellowish, spreading to five pink to pale purple, squared-off or notched, 1-2 mm long lobes; calyces 5-10 mm long, glandular-hairy, with 5 green ribs separated by membranous tissue that is ruptured by the ripening capsule, the slender teeth about as long as the tube.
Capsules, spheric to egg-shaped, 3-chambered; seeds 1 per chamber.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to dry grasslands, meadows, rocky slopes, floodplain terraces, streamsides, gravelly roadsides and forest openings in the lowland, steppe and lower montane zones; common in S BC, infrequent northward; ssp. gracilis - mostly west of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, N to Vancouver Island, introduced in SE AK, S to CA, OR and MT; ssp. humilis - mostly east of Coast-Cascade Mountains, N to S YT (where probably introduced), S to MT, NM, CA and MX, S America.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Microsteris gracilis var. gracilis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 137 855 2111
Slope Gradient (%) 0 28 210
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 197 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(78), CDF(2), CWH(1), ESSF(8), ICH(23), IDF(67), MS(8), PP(37), SBS(6)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Gilia gracilis Hook.
Phlox gracilis (Hook.) Greene
Phlox gracilis subsp. gracilis (Hook.) Greene
Phlox gracilis subsp. gracilis (Hook.) Greene

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References