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Roundstem Foxglove (Agalinis gattingeri)

Life history

Species overview

Roundstem Foxglove (Agalinis gattingeri), a Wisconsin Threatened plant, is found in dry open woodlands, prairies, and sandstone outcrops. Blooming occurs late June through late September; fruiting occurs early August through late September. The optimal identification period for this species is early August through late September.

Synonyms: Gerardia gattingeri


  • Distinguishing characteristics: Many of the false foxgloves (Agalinis spp.) appear simliar. Roundstem can be distinguished by its habitat (A. tenuifolia, A. paupercula, and A. purpurea tend to be limited to moist areas) and leaf width (up to 1mm). Rough false foxglove (A. aspera) is found in dry sites but has rough stems and turns black when dried whereas roundstem false foxglove has glabrous stems and remains green upon drying.
  • Flower characteristics: Flowers pink, bell-shaped, with 3 lower lobes, almost always appearing on the tips of the branches; lobe surfaces softly hairy and with small hairs on outside; corollas with 2 yellow lines and many red spots inside the throat.
  • Fruit characteristics: Fruit rounded, 4 to 5 mm in diameter; seeds yellow-brown with a netted texture on the surface.
  • Leaf characteristics: Opposite, numerous, slender, 1.0 to 3.4 cm long.


  • Blooming phenology: late June through late September
  • Fruiting phenology: early August through late September
  • Optimum time to identify: The optimal identification period for this species is early August through late September


  • Growth form: Forb-erect
  • Vegetative reproduction:
  • Life cycle: Annual
  • Comments: Associated Species: Quercus alba, Q. velutina, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Carya ovata, Lespedeza capitata, Polygala sanguinea, Solidago ulmifolia. Hemiparasitic.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Roundstem Foxglove (Agalinis gattingeri). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where this species has been found to date and is not meant as a range map.

Documented locations of Agalinis gattingeri in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.

Summary Information
State StatusTHR
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS2
Global RankG4
Tracked by NHIY

Habitats and landscapes

The Natural Heritage Inventory has developed scores indicating the degree to which each of Wisconsin's rare plant species is associated with a particular natural community or ecological landscape. This information is similar to that found in the Wildlife Action Plan for animals. As this is a work in progress, we welcome your suggestions and feedback.

General habitat information

  • Habitat description: Found in dry open woodlands, prairies, and sandstone outcrops.
  • Soils: Generally dry, often sandy soils.

Natural communities

This table lists the natural communities that are associated with Roundstem Foxglove. Scores for natural community associations are: "significant" association (score=3), "moderate association" (score=2) or the species can be present but is only weakly associated with the community (score=1).

Ecological landscapes

This table lists the ecological landscape association scores for Roundstem Foxglove. The scores (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None) also correspond to the map.

Map of the Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin.

Species guidance

The Endangered Resources Program has developed avoidance measures and management guidelines for plants on the Natural Heritage Working List. These are a work in progress, and we welcome your suggestions and feedback. Sources used in developing this information can be found here.

Avoidance measures

These are specific actions designed to avoid "take" (mortality) of this species.

  • Avoid known individual plant locations and conduct operations elsewhere when they are least likely to cause damage. Ideally, this would involve frozen, snow-covered ground. However, in areas of the state where frozen conditions are unreliable, very dry soils late in the growing season might be the best available alternative. Consult with a biologist, if needed.
  • Avoid locating landings, staging areas, or access routes in open sandy areas dominated by native grasses.
  • Avoid broadcast spraying of herbicides; use care with spot spraying.

Management guidance

Management guidelines are additional considerations that may help maintain or enhance habitat for this species

  • Survey for and control invasive plants prior to conducting timber operations, as these can be spread by vehicles and often respond vigorously to increased light; see forestry BMPs for invasive species.
  • Maintain low canopy cover areas for savanna and barrens plant species.
  • Prescribed burns and/or brushing may be beneficial (dependent on local site conditions).


Roundstem Foxglove Photo.

Photo © Aaron Carlson.

Roundstem Foxglove Photo.

Photo © Aaron Carlson.

Roundstem Foxglove Photo.

Photo © Aaron Carlson.

Roundstem Foxglove Photo.

Photo © Aaron Carlson.

Roundstem Foxglove Photo.

Photo by Ryan O'Connor, Wisconsin DNR.

Support for Wisconsin's rare plant information has been provided by the Division of Forestry, the Endangered Resources Fund and the Wisconsin Rare Plant Preservation Fund. To donate, visit the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin [exit DNR].

Last revised: Wednesday, May 05, 2021
Southwest Savanna Southern Lake Michigan Coastal Western Coulees and Ridges Southeast Glacial Plains Central Sand Hills Central Lake Michigan Coastal Central Sand Plains Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Northeast Sands Western Prairie North Central Forest Northern Highlands Northwest Lowlands Northwest Sands Northwest Lowlands Superior Coastal Plains Forest Transition