|Photographed 20 August 2014, Cinder Path prairie remnant east of Derby, Iowa.|
Ruellia humilis. This diminutive (usually less than a foot tall) member of the Acanthus family is native to Lucas County's dryer prairies; ranges east and south from southeastern Nebraska, central Iowa and southern Wisconsin.
Stems are squarish, branched and hairy with several pairs of opposite leaves usually about an inch wide and two inches long.
Stalkless flaring blossoms with five broad purple lobes arise in small groups and often are marked on the inside with darker purple lines. Blooms late spring through early fall.