Stems simple or branched, (18–)30–100 cm; branches spreading-ascending, obtusely angular, retrorsely short-sericeous and hispid. Leaves spreading; blade lanceolate, 12–60 x (2–)5–20(–25) mm, margins and midveins entire or mid to distal ones with 1 or 2 proximal lobes, hispid, adaxial surface scabrous; axillary fascicles absent. Inflorescences spikelike racemes, flowers 1 or 2 per node; bracts longer than pedicels, margins with 1 or 2 proximal lobes. Pedicels ascending, 0.5–3 mm, hispid. Flowers: calyx campanulate, tube (2–)3–9 mm, hirsute, lobes ovate-lanceolate, (5–)7–13 mm, unequal; corolla pink, usually without 2 yellow lines and with dark pink spots in abaxial throat, 16–30 mm, throat pilose externally, villous within across bases and sinus of adaxial lobes, lobes: abaxial projecting to spreading, adaxial erect to recurved, 4–8 mm, abaxial sparsely pilose externally, adaxial glabrous externally; proximal anthers parallel to filaments, distal perpendicular to filaments, pollen sacs 1.2–3 mm; style exserted, 15–16 mm. Capsules ovoid, 7–20 mm. Seeds brown, 1–2 mm. 2n = 26.
Phenology: Flowering Aug–Sep.
Habitat: Seasonally wet meadows, mesic prairies, glades, roadsides, fallow fields.
Elevation: 30–500 m.
Ala., Ark., D.C., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., Md., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., N.J., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va., Wis.
Agalinis auriculata is rare throughout its relatively broad range and has been the focus of recent field studies. It is probably extirpated in the District of Columbia, Michigan, New Jersey, Texas, and West Virginia; it was rediscovered in Pickens County, Alabama, in 2007 and Lewis County, Kentucky in 1998. The species is considered critically imperiled in at least 11 states and imperiled in another five and is the species is most abundant in Illinois, eastern Iowa, and northern Missouri.
Agalinis auriculata is in the Center for Plant Conservation’s National Collection of Endangered Plants.