American spikenard

(Aralia racemosa ssp. racemosa)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

American spikenard

NatureServe

N4N5 - Apparently Secure to Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Moist. Woods. Full or partial shade.

Habitat

 

Flowering

July

     
Flower Color

White or greenish-white

     
Height

24 to 84

     

Identification

This is a 24 to 84 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on an aerial stem from a stout, long-creeping rhizome.

The stems are erect to spreading and often branched. They are green to purple, hairy, and sometimes slightly woody at the base. They do not have spines and are not bristly at the base.

The leaves are alternate, widely spreading, and divided into 3 main segments. Each segment is further pinnately divided into 9 to 21 large leaflets. This results in a plant that appears very leafy though it has few leaves.

The leaflets are egg-shaped, ¾ to 7 long, and up to 5 or more wide. Leaflets of various sizes occur on the same leaf. The leaf blades are heart-shaped and asymmetrical at the base. They taper to a point at the tip with concave sides along the tip. The upper surface is green and covered with short hairs. The lower surface is paler green and is hairy along the veins when young, becoming hairless or almost hairless at maturity. The margins are toothed, sometimes doubly toothed, with sharp, forward pointing teeth.

The inflorescence is a branched array (panicle), up to 12 long and about 2½ wide, at the end of the stem, and sometimes smaller panicles rising from leaf axils. The panicle consists of numerous umbrella-shaped flower clusters (umbels). Each umbel has up to 10 or more flowers.

The flowers have 5 white or greenish-white petals and 5 stamens with white filaments and white anthers.

The fruit is a fleshy, dark purple, berry-like drupe.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 5, 7.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Araliaceae (ginseng)

 

Subfamily:

Aralioideae

 

Tribe:

Aralieae

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

American spikenard

life-of-man

petty morel


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

drupe

A fleshy fruit with a single hard, stone-like core, like a cherry or peach.

 

panicle

A pyramidal inflorescence with a main stem and branches. Flowers on the lower, longer branches mature earlier than those on the shorter, upper ones.

 

pinnate

Having the leaflets of a compound leaf arranged on opposite sides of a common stalk.

 

rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

umbel

A flat-topped or convex, umbrella-shaped cluster of flowers or buds arising from more or less a single point.

       

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  Aralia racemosa
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Uploaded on Jun 16, 2011

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  00011 American Spikenard, Purple Flowering Raspberry
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Published on May 29, 2013

American Spikenard, Purple Flowering Raspberry

 
     

 

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