IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This is a native perennial plant about ½–2' tall that branches occasionally. The stems are light green to pale red, terete, slightly hairy, and shiny. Both basal and alternate leaves are produced. Basal leaves are compound or simple with long petioles; compound leaves are odd-pinnate with 3-7 leaflets. Simple leaves are orbicular, shallowly cleft, and dentate; the leaflets of compound leaves are ovate, shallowly or deeply cleft, and dentate. Alternate leaves are usually trifoliate with short petioles; their leaflets are narrowly ovate, cleft, and dentate. The upper surfaces of these leaves are medium to dark green and hairless to hairy. At the base of each leaf, there is a pair of large leafy stipules; these stipules are deeply cleft and dentate along their margins. Flowers develop from the upper stems on long branching stalks; each stalk terminates in an individual flower about ¼" across. Individual flowers also develop from the axils of the upper leaves on long unbranched stalks. These flowering stalks are slightly hairy, shiny, and terete like the stems. Each flower has 5 yellow petals, 5 light green sepals, and a dense cluster of pistils and stamens in the middle. The petals are about the same length as the sepals (less than 1/8"); the sepals are ovate and hang downward from the rest of the flower. The blooming period occurs from mid- to late spring and lasts about 3 weeks; only a few flowers are in bloom at the same time. Each flower is replaced by dense cluster of bristly achenes; the receptacle of this clustered fruit is exerted from the calyx on a short stout stalk. The individual achenes are ellipsoid in shape and hairless to pubescent; the hooked bristles at their tips are persistent styles. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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