Canadian honewort

(Cryptotaenia canadensis)

Conservation Status
Canadian honewort
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains FAC - Facultative      
  Midwest FAC - Facultative      
  Northcentral & Northeast FAC - Facultative      
           
 
Description
 
 

Canadian honewort 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.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

12 to 40

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

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

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

June to July

 
     
 
Use
 
 

Edible

 
 

The roots can be cooked and eaten.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

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

 
  7/29/2014      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  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 (dicots)  
  Superorder Asteranae  
 

Order

Apiales (carrots, ivies, and allies)  
  Suborder Apiineae  
 

Family

Apiaceae (carrots)  
  Subfamily Apioideae  
  Tribe Oenantheae  
 

Genus

Cryptotaenia (honewort)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

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, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

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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Deeply lobed leaves

  Canadian honewort   Canadian honewort
       
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Plant

  Canadian honewort   Canadian honewort
       
  Canadian honewort    
       

Leaves

  Canadian honewort   Canadian honewort
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Honewort (Cryptotaenia canadensis)
Bill Keim
 
  Honewort (Cryptotaenia canadensis)  

 

slideshow

       
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Visitor Sightings
   

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Kate Thomas
6/17/2015

Location: Afton, Washington County

Deeply lobed leaves

Canadian honewort


     
     
 
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