Page author: David Giblin
Sherardia arvensis
blue field-madder

Distribution: Chiefly west of the Cascades in Washington; British Columbia south to California, east to Idaho and Arizona; introduced from Michigan to Maine, south to Texas to Florida in the east.

Habitat: Weed of prairies, meadows, and other open, disturbed areas.

Flowers: April-July

Origin: Introduced from Mediterranean

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Slender annuals 0.5-3 dm. tall, the stem simple or branched at the base, scabrous or with spreading hairs.


Leaves in whorls of 6, 0.5-2 cm. long, narrowly elliptic and pointed, with stiff, short hairs above and scabrous beneath.


Flowers in small heads on axillary and terminal, naked peduncles with a basal involucre of leaf-like bracts 4-9 mm. high; calyx teeth 4-6, well-developed, lanceolate; corolla funnel-shaped, pinkish, 3 mm. long, the slender tube longer than the 4 lobes; style bifid at the tip; ovary 2-celled, inferior.


Fruit dry, scabrous, 2 mm. high, crowned by the persistent, pointed sepals.

Accepted Name:
Sherardia arvensis L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 102. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Sherardia arvensis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Sherardia arvensis checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Sherardia arvensis atlas page.

CalPhotos: Sherardia arvensis photos.

USDA Plants: Sherardia arvensis information.

10 photographs:
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