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Published In: Canadian Journal of Botany 67(3): 703. 1989. (Canad. J. Bot.) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/4/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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2. Sanicula odorata (Raf.) Pryer & Phillippe (cluster-sanicle)

S. gregaria E.P. Bicknell

Pl. 211 f; Map 880

Plants perennial, with relatively slender, fibrous roots. Stems 20–80 cm long. Leaf blades 2–12 cm long, deeply palmately 3- or 5(7)-lobed and/or compound. Involucre with the bracts 8–40 mm long. Rays 1–6 cm long. Umbellets with a mixture of staminate and pistillate flowers or more commonly some of the umbellets all staminate, the staminate flowers mostly 12–25 per umbellet. Sepals 0.4–0.7 mm long, fused in the basal third, triangular, with the tip narrowed to a short, usually blunt point. Petals yellowish green, longer than the sepals. Stamens with the anthers yellow. Styles noticeably longer than the bristles of the fruit, up to twice as long as the sepals. Fruits 3–5 mm long, the stalks 0.5–1.0 mm long. 2n=16. April–June.

Scattered nearly throughout the state (eastern U.S. west to North Dakota and Texas; Canada). Bottomland forests, mesic upland forests, and banks of streams and rivers.

Phillippe (1978) and Pryer and Phillippe (1989) discussed the rationale for adopting the epithet S. odorata for this species. Earlier authors (Shan and Constance, 1951) had considered the name, as originally described, to be of ambiguous application, apparently compiled from elements of several other species, and had urged that it be rejected as a source of confusion. Phillippe (1978) and Pryer and Phillippe (1989) combined historical research and a process of elimination to conclude that the name can only apply to the taxon otherwise known as S. gregaria, and their arguments are accepted here.

Shan and Constance (1951) mapped an occurrence of S. marilandica L. (black snakeroot) from northeastern Missouri but failed to cite a specimen to support their record. Although Gleason and Cronquist (1991) accepted this literature report, Steyermark (1963) did not mention the species as occurring in Missouri. No specimens to support its occurrence were discovered during the present study, nor were any located by Phillippe (1978) in his dissertation research on the genus. Although it has been excluded from the flora for the present, this widespread species eventually may be found in northern Missouri, as it is known to grow in adjacent portions of Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. Sanicula marilandica is similar to S. odorata in having long styles and relatively numerous staminate flowers, but it differs in having sepals 1.0–1.5 long, narrowly lanceolate, with the tip tapered to a sharp point; stamens with the anthers greenish white; and petals white to greenish white.



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