Euphrasia oakesii Wettst.

Oakes' Eyebright

Habitat: Exposed turfy or gravelly slopes or crests, alpine areas. [Alpine or subalpine (non-forested, upland)]

Range: Labrador and Newfoundland, south to the higher peaks of Maine and New Hampshire.

Aids to Identification: This annual herb is characterized by a hairy, simple stem, growing to 3-10 cm. There are 2-5 pairs of small (2-7 mm), ovate leaves which increase in size toward the top of the plant. The flowering cluster is congested, with small purplish-white flowers.

Ecological characteristics: This plant historically occurs at Mount Katahdin but has not been seen since 1994. It is hemiparasitic and attaches to host plants by specialized root connections called haustoria.

Phenology: Flowers July - August.

Family: Orobanchaceae

Synonyms: Euphrasia williamsii B.L. Robins.; Euphrasia williamsii B.L. Robins. var. vestita Fern. & Wieg.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 1 town(s) in the following county(ies): Piscataquis.

Reason(s) for rarity: At southern limit of range; range is naturally restricted.

Conservation considerations: Populations could be threatened by heavy recreational (hiking) use.