Canadian honewort

(Cryptotaenia canadensis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Canadian honewort

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

Midwest

FAC - Facultative

Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative

Nativity

Native

 
Occurrence

Common

 
Habitat

Moderate moisture to moist. Deciduous and mixed forest, woodland margins, stream banks, and thickets. Full shade.

 
Flowering

June to July

     
Flower Color

White

     
Height

12 to 40

     

Identification

This is a 12 to 40 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on a single stem from a cluster of fibrous roots. It sometimes forms colonies. It does not flower until the second year.

The stems are erect, branched above the middle, light green, and hairless. They are slender, less than 5 16 thick.

The leaves are alternate and are divided into 3 leaflets. The terminal leaflet is symmetrical. The two lateral leaflets are asymmetrical, with the lower half (away from the terminal leaflet) usually distinctly wider than the upper half. This causes the leaflets to appear somewhat swept forward. Lower leaves are on leaf stalks (petioles) that are up to 4 long. The petiole forms a sheath at the base that wraps around the stem. The sheath is not inflated. When flattened out it is less than wide.

The leaflets are lance-shaped, elliptic, or egg-shaped, 1¼ to 6 long, and up to 2 wide. They are sometimes cut into two unevenly-sized lobes. They taper at the base to a winged leaflet stalk (petiolule) and taper at the tip to a sharp point. The upper and lower surfaces are hairless. The margins are toothed with coarse or fine, sharp, forward-pointing teeth. They are sometimes doubly toothed, the major teeth larger and forward-pointing. The lateral veins of the leaflet branch before reaching the margin, and the branches extend to the tips of the major teeth. The leaves become progressively smaller and shorter stalked as they ascend the stem. Upper leaves are stalkless.

The inflorescence is a compound umbel at the end of the stem and each branch appearing in June to July. The umbels are round and 2 to 3 in diameter, and have 2 to 7 stalks (rays). The rays are ascending, hairless, and 3 16 to 2 long. They are unequal in length length. They are sometimes subtended by a single leaf-like appendage (bract). When present, the bract is linear, sharply pointed, and shorter than the ray. Each ray terminates in a secondary umbel (umbellet).

Each umbellet has 2 to 10 stalked flowers. The stalks (raylets) are 116 to 13 16long and are unequal in length. They are sometimes subtended by 1 to 3 bractlets. The bractlets, when present, are lance-shaped, up to long, and shorter than the raylets. Each raylet terminates in a single tiny flower.

The flowers have 0 to 5 sepals, 5 petals, 5 stamens, and 2 styles. The ovary is hairless. If present, the sepals are reduced in size to to minute teeth. The petals are white, inversely egg-shaped, and rounded or abruptly pointed at the tip.

The fruit is a 2-chambered seedcase (schizocarp). It is green at first, turning dark brown with greenish-yellow ribs at maturity. It is smooth, hairless, narrowly oblong-elliptic, and to ¼ long. It is more than twice as long as wide. It is slightly flattened laterally and tapers to a short, prolonged extension (beak) at the tip. When ripe, the fruit splits into 2 separate seedcases (mericarps), each with a single seed. Each mericarp has 5 ribs. The ribs are not winged.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.


Comments

Quick Recognition
The asymmetrical shape of the lateral leaves makes those leaves appear to be swept forward (toward the tip).


Taxonomy

Family:

Apiaceae (carrot)

 

Subfamily:

Apioideae

 

Tribe:

Oenantheae

 
Synonyms

Deringa canadensis

 
Common
Names

Canadian honewort

white chervil

wild chervil


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

beak

A comparatively short and stout, narrow or prolonged tip on a thickened organ, as on some fruits and seeds.

 

bract

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

 

bractlet

A small, often secondary bract within an inflorescence; a bract that is borne on a petiole instead of subtending it; bracteole.

 

linear

Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.

 

mericarp

The split, usually one-seeded portion of a dry, multi-seeded fruit.

 

petiole

The stalk of a leaf blade or compound leaf that attaches the leaf blade to the stem.

 

petiolule

The stalk of a leaflet blade on a compound leaf.

 

ray

In the Asteraceae (aster) family: a strap-shaped flower, or the strap-shaped portion of a flower. In the Apiaceae (carrot) and Euphorbiaceae (spurge) families: a branch of an umbel.

 

raylet

A branch of an umbellet.

 

schizocarp

A dry fruit formed from a compound ovary that splits into two or more parts (mericarps) at maturity.

 

sheath

The lower part of the leaf that surrounds the stem.

 

umbel

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

 

umbellet

A secondary umbel in a compound umbel.

       

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Kate Thomas


Deeply lobed leaves

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  Honewort (Cryptotaenia canadensis)
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  Honewort (Cryptotaenia canadensis)  

 

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Kate Thomas
6/17/2015

Location: Afton, Washington County

Deeply lobed leaves

Canadian honewort


     
     
 

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