Wahlenbergia marginata (Thunb.) DC. - Southern Rockbell
Family - Campanulaceae
Flowering - March - November.
Habitat - Disturbed sites, waste ground, roadsides.
Origin - Native to Asia.
Other information - This little species can be found mainly in the southeast corner of the state. The plant can be identified by its small blue flowers and thin stems. Most of the larger leaves are at the base of the plant. The upper leaves are reduced to linear bracts.
Another species, W. linarioides (Lam.) DC., is similar but is a perennial plant and has a larger flower. This latter species has been reported from only one Alabama county (Mobile).
The species epithet marginata derives from the Latin "marg(in)" meaning "border, edge" possibly referring to where the plant grows.
The genus name Wahlenbergia is given in honor of Goran (George) Wahlenberg (1780-1851). Wahlenberg was a swedish naturalist who received his doctorate in medicine in 1806. He made his main focus the study of plant geography and published many works including the "Flora Lapponica (Lapland, Northern Europe)."
Photographs taken off Lee Rd 27, Auburn, AL., 5-2-05.