Alternate name: Maiden's-tears
Family: Caryophyllaceae, Carnation view all from this family
Description Habit: introduced perennial herb; many stems, usually smooth; taprooted.
Height: 8-32 in (20-80 cm).
Leaf: opposite, often clasping, lanceolate (rarely linear), 0.8-3 in (2-8 cm) wide, 0.2-1.2 in (5-30 mm) wide.
Flower: white to cream, 5-parted, 0.75-1 in (18-25 mm) wide; petals deeply divided into 2 rounded lobes, 3 styles, tubular sepals becoming inflated to form a bulbous base; held in terminal cluster of 5-40 flowerheads.
Fruit: wide and vase-shaped, cream to tan, 0.5-0.75 in (12-18 mm) diameter, 6-toothed.
Flower April to October.
Habitat Roadsides, waste ground, gravel pits, shorelines, arable land; to 6500 ft (2000 m).
Range Introduced from Europe; naturalized throughout North America, but not reported in parts of northern Canada, Nevada, Arizona, Oklahoma, or in the Gulf states from Texas to Florida.
Discussion Also known as cowbell, maiden's tears, rattleweed. Considered weedy and invasive in some areas.