Chaenorhinum minus (Dwarf Snapdragon)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; disturbed soil; waste areas, urban landscapes|
|Bloom season:||June - September|
|Plant height:||4 to 12 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Small, irregular snapdragon like flowers arise singly in the leaf axils throughout plant. Flowers are bluish to purplish white, ¼-1/3 inch long with a flat upper hood divided into two rounded lobes and a lower lip, bulging across the middle, with three rounded lobes below, the 2 lateral lobes often curled up a bit. A short spur extends at the back of the flower (see next photo). The 5 sepals are green to purple and covered in glandular hairs.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are mostly alternate but may be opposite near the base, narrowly oblong to spatula shaped, ½-1¼ inch long, toothless, broadly rounded at the tip and narrowed at the base, with little or no stalk, and may be purplish at the tip and/or the underside. The plant has fine glandular hairs throughout. Stems are erect and much branched.
Chaenorhinum minus, formerly Chaenorrhinum minus (with 2 r's), is the only species of this European genus to become widely established throughout North and Central America. Common throughout Illinois up through New England, it is not widely reported in Minnesota but its diminuative size and preference to marginal waste areas makes it easily overlooked.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken in Lake County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken at Country Inn Suites in Alexandria, Douglas County, in the concrete cracks and rocked landscape, and at public boat ramp in Silver Bay, Lake County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?