Collomia linearis Nutt.


Collomia linearis plant

Family - Polemoniaceae

Habit - Taprooted annual forb.

Stem - Erect, to 60 cm, pubescent with fine hairs especially toward tip.

Leaves - Alternate, simple, entire, sessile, with single midvein. Lower leaves linear to lanceolate. Upper stem leaves lanceolate to ovate, pointed at tip, bases somewhat clasping. Abaxial surface with short, often glandular hairs along midvein.

Collomia_linearis_stemStem and leaves.

Inflorescences - Terminal and axillary, headlike clusters surrounded by leafy bracts.

Collomia_linearis_inflorescence2Terminal inflorescence.

Collomia_linearis_inflorescenceAxillary inflorescences.


Calyx - 5-lobed to about midpoint, 4-7 mm long at flowering, elongating at fruiting, narrowly bell-shaped. Calyx lobes triangular, glandular-hairy.

Corolla - 5-lobed, white to pink, trumpet-shaped. Tube 8-15 mm long, lobes 1-4 mm long. Stamens unequal. Anthers mostly included.


Fruits - No info yet.

Flowering - May - August.

Habitat - Pastures, open disturbed areas, potentially railroads.

Origin - Native to the western U.S.

Lookalikes - None.

Other info. - This inconspicuous relative of the phloxes is very rare in Missouri, possibly no longer occurring in the state at all, or present only as a sporadic waif. The plant is only known in Missouri from a single historical collection, from Marion County in 1918. It is quite common in the western half of the U.S., where it is native. It can be easily recognized by its tubular phlox-like flowers, alternate leaves, and generally diminutive appearance.

Photographs taken along the Little Muddy Creek, southwest of Bear Mountain, CO, 6-26-2018 (SRTurner).