iFind: Agalinis, the False Foxgloves!

Hey naturalists! I'm gonna make a quick post about the Agalinis since they're in bloom right now.

The Agalinis are known as False-Foxgloves, due to their passing similarity to the foxglove flower (Digitalis), an Old World species. Agalinis are a New World species, so they occur in completely different regions of the world. No way to mess that up! Well, unless you grow foxgloves here, maybe.

I saw some actual foxglove in England this summer, they were stunning. As for their similarity to Agalinis... I don't know, I guess they look somewhat similar?

There are very many species of false foxgloves in Texas, and they all look very similar. Around Austin, though, you only have to think about three, and there are some key differences that one can use to tell those apart:

  • Length of flowering pedicel ("stem" connecting the flower to the stem)
  • Length of calyx lobes (relative to entire calyx)
  • Orientation of upper corolla lobes (corolla refers the fused pink petals as a group)

(The terminology will be explained in the linked journal post)
There are several other features, but these are the ones I tend to use. If you want to get one of these to species, I would get a front and side view of the flower, and then the general form of the flowers and the stem. See this as an example. Manual focus is very helpful for the narrow forms of these plants. Or one could always use a paper or notebook as a backdrop.

This journal post does an excellent job of explaining the Agalinis in Texas. Focus on A. heterophylla, A. strictifolia and A. edwardsiana. The relative length of the flowering pedicel is very useful for distinguishing the first from the rest, and the shape of the corolla.

*Might update this post later

Posted on September 30, 2022 02:30 AM by arnanthescout arnanthescout


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