Elkweed

Elkweed Plant Information


Elkweed grows in the following 13 states:

Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Oregon, California, Nevada, Texas, Washington

Frasera speciosa is a species of flowering plant in the Gentian Family (Gentianaceae) known by the common names elkweed,deer's ears, and monument plant.

It is native to the western United States, where it grows in mountain forests, woodlands, and meadows.
It is a perennial herb growing from a woody base surrounded by rosettes of large leaves that measure up to 50 centimeters long by 15 wide.
It produces a single erect stem which can reach two meters in height.
The stem bears whorls of lance-shaped, pointed leaves smaller than those at the base. The plant is monocarpic, growing for several years and only flowering once before it dies. Flowering is synchronized among plants in a given area, with widespread, picturesque blooms occurring periodically. It is not known why some plants in an area will not flower in a mass flowering event, or what cues the plants rely on to initiate flowering. The inflorescence is a tall, erect panicle with flowers densely clustered at the top and then spread out in interrupted clusters below. Each flower has a calyx of four pointed sepals and a corolla of four pointed lobes each one to two centimeters long. The corolla is yellow-green with purple spots and each lobe has two fringed nectary pits at the base. There are four stamens tipped with large anthers and a central ovary.
It blooms from July to August.

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