Hairy Pink

Hairy pink (Petrorhagia dubia) is native to Southern Europe and the Mediterranean. It has been introduced and has spread throughout South America, Australia and Africa. In North America this annual was brought to California in the 1920s and was first observed in Southern Oregon in 1991. It is also found in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma. It grows in disturbed areas and woodlands below about 6,000 feet. Often hairy pink is considered an invasive weed.

The simple or branched stem rises from a taproot. The stems of hairy pink are usually deeply furrowed. The middle internodes are often glandular. Hairy pink leaves are opposite and linear with finely toothed margins and pointed tips and are sheathed at the base.

The inflorescence of this member of the Pink Family (Caryophyllaceae) is a head-like cluster of flowers. The base of the flower cluster is enclosed in a large mass of wide, claw-tipped, brownish bracts. Only one flower opens at a time. The flower is enclosed in a tubular calyx of sepals. The five bright pink to purplish petals have darker veins and are divided into two lobes at the tip. Ten stamens and a superior ovary complete the flower.

Hairy pink fruits are capsules with many tiny, helmet-shaped seeds.

Pinkgrass, wilding pink and windmill pink are other common names for P dubia. The genus name comes from Greek (petros/rock and rhagas/a chink or break) and translates as a rock fissure referring to the habitat of some species in this genus. In Latin the specific epithet means doubtful in the sense of not conforming to a pattern.

Leonard and I discovered these hairy pink flowers at the entrance to the boardwalk at Eight Dollar Mountain Natural Area north of Cave Junction OR.

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