Always a day late and a dollar short, my Wildflower Wednesday post is on Thursday.
While Gail, Carrie and I took photos of the roadside prairie meadows near RDR, we noticed a small pink flower in abundance. Neither one of us had ever seen this tiny and intense flower before so we literally ran back to the house to look it up. As always the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center came to our rescue. If you are ever in Austin, make a date with the Wildflower Center. I did, and it remains one of my favorite garden destinations.
This little beauty is Sabatia campestris, or as it goes by its common names, Texas star, Rose gentian, Meadow pink, Prairie rose-gentian, or Prairie sabatia. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a prettier wildflower, and there are many blooming this time of year around these parts.
Sabatia campestris is a two inch bloom on slender 20 inch stems. It is perennial and will form colonies spreading via seeds. It is native to the south central United States and has been naturalized in parts of New England. In Illinois, it is on the endangered list. It can be established in lawns, and due to its short stature, it can be mowed.
If you see this wildflower blooming from April through June in Oklahoma, you can mark it and later collect seeds as soon as they ripen in late summer. They like sandy loam and good drainage, so if you have clay, you need to sow them in a raised bed of low soil fertility. One of the reasons we saw so much of it this summer was due to the recent, heavy rainfall. It loves water when blooming. Once started, it will self sow and develop into larger colonies of pink stars according to the Wildflower Center.
It is a pretty thing mixed amongst its yellow-flowering compatriots this time of year. Thanks to Gail and Clay and Limestone for hosting Wildflower Wednesday. For other profiled plants, head over to her blog and click on Mr. Linky.
What a pretty little flower, and I do like its name:) I haven’t had a chance to visit some of our local prairie plantings in awhile, but I will look for this wildflower as soon as I can. We’ve had so much rain, too, that it may be doing well this year. I looked it up in my Illinois Wildflowers book, and as you say, it’s endangered here, so it would be great to collect some seeds from one, if possible.
Pam's English Garden
Dee, How very lovely. So glad you folks didn’t miss this tiny wildflower. Sweet. Pam x
Dirty Girl Gardening
I just love the Lady Bird Wildflower Research Center. Go there every time I am in Austin.
I’ve seen this wildflower in my yard in the past so I should go look for it in the fields around the house to see if there are any blooming here. Thank you for identifying it. I also enjoyed the LBJ Wildflower Center.
I love these little plants. I wish I could find some for my garden!
Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening
Interesting that it has naturalized in New England but is endangered in Illinois. Is that because Illinois is overdeveloped and New England is getting warmer? Wondering aloud, don’t expect you to know.
Very pretty little flower. Very pink.
Mr. McGregor's Daughter
I’ve never seen it or heard of it. I wonder if it’s native only to the southern part of Illinois? It’s a charming thing.
Lisa at Greeenbow
This is definitely one I could live with. Such a cutie.
Sometimes the smallest flowers are the prettiest.
What a lovely little flower. It’s always fun to see wild flowers from different parts of the country.
I’m glad I’m not the only one that was late posting to WWW:)
It’s a beauty Dee and it was so much fun to discover a new to us wildflower. I saw patches of the brilliant pink all the way to the OK border on our way back to Nashville. I also use The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and decided to join to support their work. gail
Dee, your gentians are beautiful. I adore wildflowers and had planned to grow a wildflower meadow on my former property that had over 4 acres. Alas, I’ll enjoy them where I can. 🙂 (Love this template, too!)
Pretty delicate beauty! Sounds like I could grow that sweetie up here in Connecticut – I don’t suppose you know a source for the seeds?