Native to the Mediterranean, but introduced around the world as a garden plant and now present worldwide. It is present throughout the U.S. and in Hawaii.
An annual plant reproducing from seeds, this attractive wildflower can be very invasive, and is occasionally a serious weed in cultivated crops. It escapes to become a weed along roadsides, in vacant lots and other disturbed sites, and occasionally in crops.
The mature plants can stand up to 3 feet tall, with multiple weak stems arising from the base. The stems may be simple or they may have several branches. The leaves are narrow and elongate and almost grasslike, with complete margins or with the lower leaves occasionally toothed or slightly lobed. The flowers are of many colors, from blue to pink to purple to white, and the grow at the ends of the stems and are over 1 inch in diameter. The outer ray flowers are lance shaped with deeply cleft tips, while the inner disc flowers are unusually long for this family, giving the flower head a more full, ragged appearance.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Not a major pest problem, and individual plants should be removed by hand.