Despite the name, there is nothing “common” about this plant! The rose-pink hue of the flower is really astounding. Each flower has 5 pink petals and 5 stamens with yellow anthers. The central yellow style is split in two, adding a festive “pop” to the center of the flower. At the base of each petal is a splash of yellow outlined in red; the net effect is a delightful star pattern.
Rose-pink grows 1- 2 feet tall. The leaves are opposite, entire, egg-shaped and clasping. The stem is four-sided, hence the species name angularis. The flowers are borne at the top of the plant in small groups; each flower is about 1.5 inches across.
Flowering in July through September, this native biennial prefers moist soils and sunny locations. Of the flowers pictured in the gallery below, I found the first group growing in full sun near a pond at Glen Alton, in Giles County, Virginia. The remaining flowers were found along a rocky slope/roadside ditch near the Deerfield Trail in Blacksburg.
This plant is a member of the Gentian family. The flowers close up at night and re-open each morning. Sweet!