Slender False Foxglove
The Slender False Foxglove (scientific name Agalinis tenuifolia) is a beautiful wildflower that can be found in the prairie area on the Eastern point behind the BlueH eron Lagoon. It is a wiry looking branched plant that grows about 20 inches tall. It has very narrow leaves that are about 3 inches long. Each of the dainty light-pink to colored flowers, with darker purple spots on the inside, resemble the single funnel shaped Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) blossoms that you might have in your garden. Each flower only blooms for one day, but there are enough blossoms that you will see them blooming from August up to October each year. This is an annual flower that reproduces each year by producing rounded fruit capsules that split open to disperse many seeds.
The Slender False Foxglove is native to most of the Eastern United States and Canada, but it likes specific habitats. In Michigan, it is classified as a Facultative Wetland plant, meaning it prefers moist to marshy habitats, though it may be found in other areas as well. The plant is hemiparasitic, which means, while it can perform photosynthesis by itself, it will also connect its roots to host plants to gather additional nutrients. You’ll often find it intermingling with favorite host grasses. The Slender False Foxglove’s preferred habitats can be threatened by man-made changes in the environment or by invasive species.