IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Description

This native perennial plant is unbranched, except slightly near the inflorescence, and up to 3' tall. The central stem is stout and covered with spreading white hairs. The pinnate compound leaves are also covered with white hairs, and consist of 3-11 leaflets. They are located primarily at the base of the plant, although a few small compound leaves alternate along the central stem above. Each leaflet is up to 3" long and 2" across, with the leaflets becoming larger toward the tip of the compound leaf (away from the stem). A leaflet is coarsely serrated along the margins, pinnately veined, and has an ovate or oblong shape (with blunt tips). The entire plant appears light or whitish green. The inflorescence occurs as a tight cluster of the flowers at the apex of the plant, sometimes with smaller side clusters. A flower has 5 white petals, 5 light green sepals, 20 or more golden stamens, and a small golden reproductive structure in the center. It is about ¾" across and resembles the flower of a strawberry plant. There is no floral scent. The blooming period occurs during mid-summer and lasts about a month – only a few flowers are open at the same time. The small seeds are distributed to some extent by the wind. The root system consists of a central taproot, and there are rhizomes that help to spread the plant, although it is not particularly aggressive.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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