plains snake-cotton

(Froelichia floridana var. campestris)

Conservation Status
plains snake-cotton
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N4N5 - Apparently Secure to Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Plains snake-cotton is a 20 to 40 tall, erect, annual forb that rises on a single stem from a semi-woody taproot.

The stem is stout, usually erect or ascending, sometimes trailing on the ground but not rooting at the nodes. It may be unbranched or have a few branches at the base, and may also be branched above the middle. It is covered with short, sticky, whitish or brownish hairs. The hairs are sometimes woolly and matted or tangled.

The leaves are opposite, stalkless or nearly stalkless, and mostly on the lower of the stem. The larger leaves are elliptic inversely lance-shaped, widest above the middle, 1½ to 5½ long, and to 1¼ wide. They are wedge-shaped or taper gradually to a narrow point at the base, and are rounded at the tip or angled with the angle more than 90°. When young, the upper leaf surface is white due to a dense covering of silky or woolly hairs. At maturity the upper surface is frequently nearly hairless. The lower surface is densely covered with short, soft, matted or tangled, woolly hairs, both when young and at maturity. The margins are untoothed.

At the end of each stem and branch is an elongated, branched inflorescence (panicle) with pairs of short-stalked spikes ascending from the nodes of the central axis (rachis). The space between the lowest two nodes of the stalk is seldom over 4. The spikes are dense, pyramid-shaped, to 3 long, to 9 16 in diameter. The overall appearance is of an interrupted spike. The flowers are arranged in a dense, 5-ranked spiral.

Each flower is to ¼ wide. There are 5 white to yellowish-white sepals fused for most of their length into a flask-shaped, 2-lipped, 5-lobed tube. The sepals are densely covered with woolly hairs. There are no petals.

The fruit is a flask-shaped, inflated, 3 16 long, 3 16 wide, bladder-like pouch (utricle) containing 1 seed.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

20 to 40

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Dry. Prairies, streambanks, river banks, railroads, roadsides, disturbed sites. Full sun. Sandy soil.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

July to September

 
     
 

Pests and Diseases

 
 

 

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 30.

 
  38/21/2022      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
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 (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Caryophyllanae  
 

Order

Caryophyllales (pinks, cactuses, and allies)  
 

Family

Amaranthaceae (Amaranth)  
  Subfamily Gomphrenoideae  
 

Genus

Froelichia (snake-cotton)  
  Species Froelichia floridana (plains snake-cotton)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Froelichia campestris

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

cottonweed

common cotton-weed

field snake-cotton

Florida snake-cotton

plains snake-cotton

plains snakecotton

prairie froelichia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bract

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

 

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.

 

Rachis

The main axis of a compound leaf, appearing as an extension of the leaf stalk; the main axis of an inflorescence.

 

Sepal

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

 

Utricle

A small, dry, inflated, thin-walled, bladder-like fruit containing 1 seed.

 
 
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Nancy Falkum

 
 

Prairie Cottonweed remnant from last season

 
    plains snake-cotton      
           
 

Prairie Cottonweed Froelichia floridana

 
    plains snake-cotton      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Plant

 
    plains snake-cotton   plains snake-cotton  
           
    plains snake-cotton      
           
 

Inflorescence

 
    plains snake-cotton   plains snake-cotton  
           
    plains snake-cotton      
           
 

Leaves

 
    plains snake-cotton   plains snake-cotton  
           
    plains snake-cotton      

 

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  Nancy Falkum
3/20/2022

Location: Kellogg Weaver Dunes SNA, Weaver Dunes Unit

Prairie Cottonweed remnant from last season

plains snake-cotton  
  Nancy Falkum
7/22/2021

Location: Kellogg Weaver Dunes SNA, Weaver Dunes Unit

Prairie Cottonweed Froelichia floridana

plains snake-cotton  
           
 
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