WHITE COCKLE, Lychnis alba Mill.
1, seed; 2, entire plant; 3, new plant from portion
of root; 4, seed capsule. Biennial, or short-lived
perennial. Reproduction largely by seeds. Rootstocks thick,
sending up a few short barren shoots and long, branching, flowering stems.
Stems erect, branched, stout, quite hairy and sticky, 1 to 2-1/2
feet (30 to 75 cm) tall. Leaves opposite, long and narrow, not petioled,
covered with short hair, pointed at the tip and rather light green. Flowers
fragrant, white to pink, about 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) in diameter with 5 notched
petals; borne on erect stems in leaf axils or loose panicles; open in evening.
Male and female flowers on separate plants. Seed pod swollen,
ovoid with 10 short teeth at top, in hairy inflated calyx. Seeds
numerous, flat, nearly round, pale gray, covered with small knobs, and
about 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) in diameter. Found along roadsides, borders
of fields, and in waste places; may become troublesome in grain and legume