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

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

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Paul Handford  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #88754)

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Distribution of Microsteris 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

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References