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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 235. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/4/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted

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34. Sanicula L. (black snakeroot, sanicle)

(Shan and Constance, 1951; Pryer and Phillippe, 1989)

Plants biennial or perennial, glabrous (variously hairy elsewhere), with fibrous or somewhat tuberous-thickened clusters of roots. Stems loosely ascending to erect. Leaves alternate and usually also basal (1 to several basal leaves usually present at flowering), the uppermost sometimes appearing opposite, the basal and lower ones long-petiolate, the median and upper leaves short-petiolate to sessile, the sheathing bases not or only slightly inflated. Leaf blades broadly triangular to ovate or nearly circular in outline, deeply palmately 3- or 5(7)-lobed and/or compound, the lobes or leaflets elliptic-lanceolate to obovate in outline, narrowed or tapered to bluntly or sharply pointed tips, tapered at the base, those of the lower leaves often irregularly few-lobed, the margins sharply and doubly toothed, the teeth often with light-colored, slender, spiny tips. Inflorescences terminal and usually also axillary, compound umbels, these often grouped into loose clusters or small panicles, short- to more commonly long-stalked, the branch points with pairs of leaflike bracts. Involucre of (1)2(3) bracts, these leaflike, usually 3-lobed. Rays 2 or 3(–7), usually unequal in length, loosely ascending or spreading. Umbellets sometimes of 2 noticeably different types, some with a mixture of longer-stalked staminate flowers and shorter-stalked or sessile perfect flowers (this in all species), others with only staminate flowers (this sometimes in S. odorata). Involucel of (2–)3–9 bractlets, these minute, shorter than to longer than the flower stalks, lanceolate to ovate-triangular, the margins entire or less commonly few-toothed. Staminate flowers 1–27 per umbellet; pistillate flowers usually 3 per umbellet, sometimes appearing fewer at fruiting. Sepals minute, narrowly lanceolate to triangular scales, these fused toward the base. Petals oblanceolate to ovate, tapered abruptly to a short, slender tip, white or greenish yellow. Ovaries densely pubescent with hooked hairs (bristles). Fruits oblong-ovate to nearly circular in outline, somewhat flattened laterally, densely pubescent with hooked bristles, these with expanded, somewhat inflated bases, the mericarps lacking ribs. About 40 species, nearly worldwide.


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1 1. Styles noticeably longer than the bristles of the fruit, up to twice as long as the sepals; staminate flowers mostly 12–25 per umbellet ... 2. S. ODORATA

Sanicula odorata
2 1. Styles shorter than the bristles of the fruit, shorter than to slightly longer than the sepals; staminate flowers mostly 1–7 per umbellet

3 2. Styles shorter than to about as long as the sepals; fruits 2–5 mm long, the stalks 1.0–1.5 mm long; plants biennial, with thin, fibrous roots ... 1. S. CANADENSIS

Sanicula canadensis
4 2. Styles slightly longer than the sepals; fruits 4–6 mm long, sessile; plants perennial, with somewhat tuberous-thickened roots ... 3. S. SMALLII Sanicula smallii
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