IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This native perennial plant is 1-2½' tall, branching sparingly in the upper half of the plant. The stems are hairless and round, with light green lines that run vertically. The basal leaves are undivided, up to 4" long and 3" across, and have petioles about 2-3" long. They are usually cordate or broadly ovate in overall shape, but with blunt or rounded tips. Otherwise, the leaves alternate up the stem, having progressively shorter petioles and a smaller size. The upper leaves are often ternately compound, and sometimes each leaflet is divided into three lobes. The surface of these leaves are often shiny, while their margins are serrate or crenate. There may be a purplish spot where the petiole meets the base of a leaf.  The upper stems produce compound umbels of tiny yellow flowers. A typical umbel spans about 2-3" across, and consists of about 7-15 umbellets, which in turn have about 10-20 flowers. These flowers have short pedicels, except the central flower of each umbellet, which is sessile. Each flower has 5 yellow petals that barely open, and is less than 1/8" across. The blooming period occurs during late spring and lasts about a month. There is no noticeable floral scent. Each flower is replaced by a small fruit with 5 angular ribs – however, this fruit is not winged. The root system consists of a central taproot.


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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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