Introduced from Eurasia as an ornamental plant, and now found occasionally along the West Coast in fields, roadsides, and other disturbed habitats.
An annual maturing in the winter or early spring, with reproduction from seeds.
Plants are tall and spindly, growing up to 2.5 feet tall on slender stems. Usually a single main stem arises from the base, with only a few stems branching from it. Leaves are long and narrow, opposite, and pointed and with the bases of opposing leaves joined at the stem. Leaves and stems may have a covering of sticky hairs on them.
Flowers are showy, with 5 petals ranging from white to purple to the common pink form, and may be over a half inch wide. Below the petals there is a long, inflated, tubular calyx that may be up to ¾ inch wide and with noticeable venation running up its sides.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
This is only a modest roadside problem, and dies back in mid to late spring.