Rhexia virginica L.
Rhexia stricta Pursh
Rhexia virginica L. var. purshii (Spreng.) C.W. James
Rhexia virginica L. var. septemnervia (Walter) Pursh
Pale meadow beauty, Virginia meadow beauty, handsome harry, wing-stem meadow-pitchers
Many members of this genus are tropical, but this is a North American native. Virgiinia meadow beauties prefer sun to moderate shade, acid soil, and moist to wet conditions. Henry David Thoreau once compared these fruits to little cream pitchers, hence the term “meadow-pitchers.”
Plants: 8-40" (20-101 cm), bristly, usually unbranched except for a few flower-bearing stems near the top. Taller plants sometimes flop over along the ground. The central stem is light- to purplish-green, sharply 4-angled, with narrow wings.
Flowers: Stems, which are usually hairy, are topped by short cymes of attractive flowers. Flowers are 1-1½" (2.5-3.8 cm) around, bright pink, 4-petaled, with 8 bright yellow stamens tipped by yellow or yellow-orange sickle-shaped anthers. Flowers appear July-August.
Fruits: Urn-shaped capsules, ⅛-¼" (5.5-6.5 mm) long, with many seeds <¹/₃₂" (1 mm) in size. Fruits appear July-September.
Rhexia virginica on Missouriplants.com (Great photos)
Rhexia virginica on Discover Life (Great photos)
Rhexia virginica at the Michigan Natural Features Inventory
Rhexia virginica on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site
Rhexia virginica at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Rhexia virginica at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Rhexia virginica on www.cumauriceriver.org
Rhexia virginica description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 2 Jul 2020.