clustered black snakeroot

(Sanicula odorata)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

clustered black snakeroot

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

Moist. Woodlands. Partial sun to medium shade.

 
Flowering

June to August

 
Flower Color

Greenish-yellow

 
Height

12 to 32

 

Identification

Basal and lower stem leaves are palmately divided into 5 leaflets. The lateral leaflets may be shallowly lobed but rarely deeply enough to look like additional leaflets — “5 looks like 5”.

The flowers are greenish-yellow. Some flower clusters have 3 perfect (containing both male and female parts) and 12 to 25 male flowers, others have all male flowers. The perfect flowers are stalked. The male flowers are short-stalked and are concealed by the perfect flowers. The outer floral bracts (sepals) as much shorter than the petals. The styles are conspicuous, much longer than the bristles. They curve backward but persist in fruit.

 
Similar
Species

See the Black Snakeroot Filter for help in identifying this and other black snakeroots.

Canadian black snakeroot (Sanicula canadensis var. canadensis) basal and lower stem leaves are 3-parted with two deeply cut — “3 looks like 5”. There are only 2 to 7 flowers in each flower cluster. The flowers are white. The sepals are longer than the petals. The styles are inconspicuous, shorter than the bristles.

Large-fruited black snakeroot (Sanicula trifoliata) is much less common, mostly restricted to the southeastern counties. Basal and lower stem leaves are 3-parted, sometimes with with two deeply cut — “3 looks like 3 (or 5)”. There are only 2 to 7 flowers in each flower cluster. All flower clusters include both perfect and male flowers. The flowers are white. Perfect flowers are stalkless. Male flowers are long-stalked, rising above the perfect flowers. The sepals in flower are longer than the petals. The fruits are ¼ to 5 16 long. The styles are inconspicuous, shorter than the bristles. The sepals in fruit converge, forming a beak as long or longer than the bristles.

Large-leaved black snakeroot (Sanicula canadensis var. grandis) basal and lower stem leaves are 3-parted with two deeply cut — “3 looks like 5”. There are only 2 to 7 flowers in each flower cluster. The flowers are white. The sepals are longer than the petals. The styles are inconspicuous, shorter than the bristles.

Maryland black snakeroot (Sanicula marilandica) is sometimes a taller plant, up to 48 in height. Basal and lower stem leaves are 5-parted with two deeply cut — “5 looks like 7”. The flowers are greenish-white. Perfect flowers are stalkless. Male flowers are long-stalked, rising above the perfect flowers. The sepals are as long or only nearly as long as the petals.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 29, 30.


Comments

Lobed and/or Compound
The number of leaflets on the basal and lower stem leaves of black snakeroots (Sanicula spp.) is an important identifying feature. However, the lateral leaflets are often deeply lobed, often to the base, appearing to be two separate leaflets.


Taxonomy

Family:

Apiaceae (carrot)

 

Subfamily:

Saniculoideae

 

Tribe:

Saniculeae

 
Synonyms

Sanicula gregaria

Triclinium odoratum

 
Common
Names

cluster sanicle

clustered black snakeroot

clustered blacksnakeroot

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

palmate

Similar to a hand. Having more than three lobes or leaflets that radiate from a single point at the base of the leaf.

 

perfect

Referring to a flower that has both male and female reproductive organs.

 

pistillate

Referring to a flower that has a female reproductive organ (pistil) but does not have male reproductive organs (stamens).

 

sepal

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

 

style

Part of the pistil, usually a slender stalk, connecting the ovary to the stigma(s).

       

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