Plectritis congesta

From Puget Prairie Plants
  • Photo: Ben Legler, 2004
    Latin Name: Plectritis congesta
  • Family: Valerianaceae
  • Common Names: rosy plectritis, sea-blush
  • Codon: PLECON

Taxonomy

Plectritis congesta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Subphylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteranae
Order: Dipsacales
Family: Valerianaceae
Genus: Plectritis (Lindl.)DC
Species: Plectritis congesta (Lindl.) DC

Description

Native annual perennial herb, 1-6 dm. tall.

Leaves are opposite, oblong, egg-shaped towards the bottom of the plant.

Flowers are pink to white, have 5 petals, formed into a bilabiate corolla with a well-developed spur, and form terminal clusters.

Fruit is a dry carpel, the convex side keeled, 2-4 mm.[1][2]

Name comes from Greek plektos, plaited, presumably referring to the complex inflorescence.[3]

Bloom Period

April - June[2]

Distribution

Vancouver Island, BC, south to California, mostly west of the Cascades.[3]

Habitat

This plant prefers open to partly shaded meadows and slopes that are moist in the spring, but also grows along coastal bluffs, rocky balds, and roadsides in spring-moist areas or seeps.[4]

Uses

Flowers provide a spring nectar source for bumble bees and other native bees, as well as butterflies including the endangered Fender’s blue (Plebejus icarioides fenderi) and the rare Taylor’s checkerspot (Euphydryas editha taylori).[4]

Propagation

Seeds were sown into containers filled with Sunshine # 1 (a soil-less peat-based media) amended with micro-nutrients (Micromax) and a slow-release fertilizer (Osmocote 14-14-14.) Flats were placed in greenhouse set at moderate temperatures (70 degree days/50 degree nights.) Seeds germinated within one to two weeks. 60% germination occurred.

Fruit and Seed Collection and Extraction Collection: Plant develops two different fruits/seeds--fruit polymorphisms. Both types of seed can be easily shaken into an envelope or bag when ripe. All the plants do not ripen at the same time. Special care must be taken when cleaning seed as their shape and size differs.[5]

Photo Gallery

References

  1. Bowcutt, F., & Hamman, Sarah. (2016). Vascular plants of the South Sound prairies (First ed.). Olympia, Washington: The Evergreen State College Press.
  2. 2.0 2.1 WTU Herbarium, Burke Museum, & University of Washington. Retrieved from https://biology.burke.washington.edu/herbarium/imagecollection/taxon.php?Taxon=Plectritis%20congesta
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hitchcock, C. L., Cronquist, A., Giblin, D., & Legler, B. et al. (2018). Flora of the Pacific Northwest: an illustrated manual. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Young-Mathews, A. 2012. Plant fact sheet for shortspur seablush (Plectritis congesta). USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Plant Materials Center, Corvallis, OR.
  5. Bartow, Amy. 2004. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Plectritis congesta (Lindley) A. DC. plants USDA NRCS - Corvallis Plant Materials Center Corvallis, Oregon. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/06/02). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.