rough-seeded fameflower

(Phemeranthus rugospermus)

Conservation Status
rough-seeded fameflower
Photo by Nancy Falkum
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N3N4 - Vulnerable to Apparently Secure

S2 - Imperiled




Rough-seeded fameflower is a small, often overlooked, early summer wildflower. It occurs in the United States from Wisconsin, Indiana, and Louisiana west to Minnesota, Nebraska, and Texas. It is spotty and localized throughout its range. It is rare in Minnesota, where it is mostly restricted to the southeast and the southern Metro regions. There is a single record from Watonwan County reported on BONAP, and an historical record from Chisago County where it may no longer occur. It is found in dry, open areas with little competition from other plants, including on cliffs, rock outcrops, sand dunes, riverbanks, and prairies. It grows under full sun in sandy soil. In Minnesota it blooms from mid-June to mid-July. When not in bloom the plant is inconspicuous and easily overlooked.

Rough-seeded fameflower is a 4 to 10 (10 to 25 cm) tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on a single short stem from a short taproot and more or less fleshy roots. The taproot is unbranched but with age develops additional crowns, and one stem will rise from each crown.

The stem is erect, succulent, and hairless. It is unbranched below the middle, sometimes branched above.

Numerous alternate, stalkless leaves are crowded at the base of the stem, sometimes appearing like a rosette. The blades are succulent, almost round in cross section, and 1¼ to 2 (3 to 6 cm) long.

The inflorescence is a branched, flat-topped cluster (cyme) of several flowers at the end of the stem. The cyme is 4 to 8 (1 to 2 dm) long, including the leafless, scape-like stalk (peduncle) that is up to 6 (15 cm) long. The branches of the cyme have opposite pairs of tiny, lance-shaped, modified leaves (bracts).

Each flower is about ½ (12 mm) wide. There are 2 outer floral leaves (sepals), 5 petals, 12 to 28 stamens, and 1 style. The sepals light green, egg-shaped, and (4 mm) long. The petals are pink to magenta, egg-shaped to inversely egg-shaped, and ¼ to 516 (6 to 8 mm) long. The upper third or half of the style is divided into 3 linear, widely spreading stigmas. Each flower lasts just a single day, and is open for only a few hours in the late afternoon.

The fruit is a globe-shaped, to 3 16 (4 to 5 mm) long, one-chambered capsule with many seeds. The seeds are 132 (1.2 mm) in diameter, minutely roughened, and strongly wrinkled. This is the feature that gives the plant its common name.




4 to 10 (10 to 25 cm)


Flower Color


Pink to magenta


Similar Species


Dry, open areas with little competition from other plants. Cliffs, rock outcrops, sand dunes, riverbanks, and prairies. Full sun. Sandy soil.




mid-June to mid-July


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 24, 28, 29, 30.








Rare and local

  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Subclass Rosidae  
  Superorder Caryophyllanae  


Caryophyllales (pinks, cactuses, and allies)  


Montiaceae (pussypaw)  


Phemeranthus (fameflowers)  

Subordinate Taxa






Talinum rugospermum


Common Names


prairie fameflower

prairie fame-flower

rough-seeded fameflower

rough-seeded fame-flower

roughseed fameflower

sand fame-flower












Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.



A branched, flat-topped or convex flower cluster in which the terminal flower opens first and the outermost flowers open last.



On plants: An erect, leafless stalk growing from the rootstock and supporting a flower or a flower cluster. On insects: The basal segment of the antenna.



An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.



In plants, the portion of the female part of the flower that is receptive to pollen. In Lepidoptera, an area of specialized scent scales on the forewing of some skippers, hairstreaks, and moths. In other insects, a thickened, dark, or opaque cell on the leading edge of the wing.















Visitor Photos

Share your photo of this plant.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

Nancy Falkum


cartway by cottonwood dump

    rough-seeded fameflower      








Visitor Videos

Share your video of this plant.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.


Other Videos
  Fame Flower Bloom Time Lapse

Jul 8, 2016

Prairie Fame Flower (Phemeranthus rugospermus) flowers opening. This species' flowers only open in the late afternoon at the hottest part of the day. These ones started opening at around 4:30pm and were fully open by 5:00pm. This species is an uncommon sand barrens resident. Video taken in Sauk County Wisconsin 8 July 2016.




Visitor Sightings

Report a sighting of this plant.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Be sure to include a location.
  Nancy Falkum

Location: Kellogg Weaver Dunes SNA, Weaver Dunes Unit

cartway by cottonwood dump

rough-seeded fameflower







Created: 11/6/2021

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © All rights reserved.