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Published In: Systema Naturae, Editio Decima 2: 975. 1759. (Syst. Nat. (ed. 10)) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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1. Leucojum aestivum L. (snowflake, summer snowflake)

Pl. 106 e; Map 417

Plants perennial, with bulbs, lacking the odor of onion or garlic. Aerial stems 20–40 cm long, unbranched below the inflorescence, erect, hollow, somewhat flattened, glabrous. Leaves several, basal, 30–40 cm long, linear, flat, the bases sheathing the aerial stems, glabrous. Inflorescences at the tips of the aerial stems, umbels of 2–7 flowers, subtended by a green, herbaceous, spathelike bract 3–5 cm long. Flowers with stalks 15–65 mm long, nodding to pendant, not replaced by bulblets. Perianth 10–20 mm long, bell-shaped, the sepals and petals attached to the top of the ovary, elliptic to obovate, white with a green spot at the thickened tip. Stamens 6, attached to the top of the ovary, free from the perianth. Style 1, longer than the stamens, abruptly narrowed below the minute stigma. Ovary inferior, with 3 locules, each with numerous ovules. Fruits 12–20 mm long, obovoid capsules. 2n=22, 24. April–May.

Introduced, uncommonly escaped in eastern Missouri (native of Europe, uncommonly escaped from cultivation in the eastern U.S.). Old homesites, disturbed areas.

Plants of Leucojum contain a variety of alkaloids and are poisonous. This species is commonly cultivated as an ornamental but rarely produces mature fruits in our area or becomes naturalized. Several cultivars have been described.



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