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Hwy 169 Drainage - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Triodanis perfoliata - clasping Venus looking-glass

Synonyms: Legouzia perfoliata, Specularia perfoliata, Triodanis biflora, T. perfoliata var. biflora, T. perfoliata var. perfoliata
Other Common Names: clasping bellwort, roundleaved triodanis, common Venus looking-glass
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Campanulaceae

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Hwy 169 Drainage
Sue Smith
Hwy 169 Drainage
Sue Smith
Hwy 169 Drainage
Sue Smith
Hwy 169 Drainage
Sue Smith
Plant - spring
Hwy 169 Drainage
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual   Similar Species: Triodanis leptocarpa
General Desc: Erect annual often unbranched or with a few long branches. Slender stems and oval to heart-shaped leaves have soft to bristly hairs. 1 to 3 stemless, purple, funnel-shaped flowers grow between the leaf and stem (leaf axils) all along the plant stalk.
Identification notes: Slender stemmed annuals; stems erect; leaves all along the stems, diminish in size upward becoming bract-like, oval to somewhat heart-shaped, clasp stem at base; purple to bluish-purple flowers single or in clusters of 2 or 3 in leaf axils, not stemmed.
Height: About 1-1/2 feet


Habitat Description: Found in dry, sandy, gravelly soil in open woodland clearings, grassy slopes, on hillsides, under shrubs, in the shade of rocks as well as along railroad tracks, uncultivated fields and along roadsides.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 5100 - 8500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Purple to bluish-purple     Shape: Regular in clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Jun - Jul
Description: Flowers single or in clusters of 2 or 3 in leaf axils; 2 kinds of flowers, lower, smaller ones don't open, upper, larger ones showy, 1/2 inch wide, 5 oval petals fused at the base. Below each bloom are 5 (often) leaf-like sepals shorter than the petals.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Light green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Round or oval     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Alternate and opposite     Leaves Clasp: Y
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves are up to 1 inch long, egg to heart-shaped, stalkless and usually clasping the stem at the base. Leaves often have stiff hairs but the upper leaves may be hairless. Leaves are mostly alternate but a pair of opposite leaves appears at the stem top.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Reddish-brown   
Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Notes: Oblong-oval fruit has 2 or 3 sections, is 3/8 inch long with 5 (often) leaf-like sepals spreading out at its tip. As the fruit ripens, a hole (pore) develops in the middle of each section enabling the mature capsule to split open and release the seeds.
Seed Notes: Seeds are numerous, brown to reddish-brown, plump, tiny, less than 1/16 inch long, oval to lens-shaped and shiny with a smooth or bumpy surface.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2022
Content Questions/Comments: Email Matt Halldorson  
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