Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This herbaceous perennial plant is about 1-2½' tall, branching occasionally. The stems are light green to reddish purple, terete, and glabrous (var. longistylis) to hairy (var. villicaulis). The alternate leaves are ternately compound; the lower compound leaves are up to 9" long and 9" across, while the upper compound leaves are much smaller in size. Each compound leaf is divided into 3 compound leaflets; the terminal compound leaflet is the largest. Each compound leaflet is further divided into 3 subleaflets; the terminal subleaflet is the largest, sometimes appearing to be divided into 3 even smaller subleaflets. The subleaflets are 1-4" long, ½-1½" across, and lanceolate to oval-ovate shape in shape; their margins are coarsely serrated-crenate or shallowly cleft. The upper subleaflet surface is yellowish green to green and nearly glabrous (var. longistylis) to moderately covered with appressed hairs (var. villicaulis).  The petioles of compound leaves are light green to reddish purple and up to 6" in length. The petiolules of leaflets are light green to reddish green and up to 2" long, while those of subleaflets are nearly sessile to ¼" (6 mm.) long. The foliage of this plant releases a mild anise fragrance when it is rubbed. The upper stems terminate in compound umbels of white flowers about 1½-3" across. There are about 3-6 umbellets per compound umbel on rays (floral stalks) up to 2" long. An umbellet has 7-16 flowers that are clustered together on rays (floral stalklets) up to ¼" (6 mm.) long. Each flower (about 3 mm. across) has 5 white petals with incurved tips, 5 white stamens, a pistil with a divided white style (stylopodium), and an insignificant calyx that is light green. At the base of each compound umbel, there are several linear-lanceolate bracts with ciliate margins; they are up to 8 mm. in length. At the base of each umbellet, there are several linear-lanceolate bractlets with ciliate margins; they are also up to 8 mm. in length. The blooming period occurs during the late spring or early summer, lasting about 2-3 weeks. Afterwards, the flowers are replaced by 2-seeded fruits (schizocarps). While these fruits are still immature, the persistent divided style is 2.0-3.5 mm. in length (it is smaller than this when the flowers are still in bloom). The small seeds are narrowly ellipsoid-oblanceoloid, 5-ribbed, and slightly bristly along their ribs. The root system consists of a cluster of fleshy roots with a strong anise fragrance.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Type Information

Holotype for Osmorhiza longistylis var. brachycoma S.F. Blake
Catalog Number: US 989634
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): S. F. Blake
Year Collected: 1918
Locality: Cabin John., Montgomery, Maryland, United States, North America
  • Holotype: Blake, S. F. 1923. Rhodora. 25: 110.
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Isotype for Osmorhiza longistylis var. villicaulis Fernald
Catalog Number: US 407082
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): A. A. Heller
Year Collected: 1901
Locality: Conostega, near Binkley's Bridge., Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Fernald, M. L. 1908. Rhodora. 10: 52.
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Ecology

Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Anise Root in Illinois

Osmorhiza longistylis (Anise Root)
(Short-tongued bees suck nectar or collect pollen, other insects suck nectar; one observation is from Krombein et al. as indicated below, otherwise all observations are from Robertson)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus impatiens; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina calcarata; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada cuneatus, Nomada parva, Nomada sayi; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Osmia conjuncta, Osmia lignaria lignaria

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea sn cp, Agapostemon splendens sn, Augochlora purus purus sn, Augochlorella striata sn fq, Augochloropsis metallica metallica sn, Augochloropsis sumptuosa sn, Halictus confusus sn, Halictus rubicunda sn, Lasioglossum coriaceus sn cp, Lasioglossum forbesii sn cp, Lasioglossum imitatus sn cp, Lasioglossum macoupinensis sn cp fq, Lasioglossum obscurus sn cp, Lasioglossum pectoralis sn cp fq, Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus sn cp, Lasioglossum versatus sn cp; Halictidae (Sphecodini): Sphecodes ranunculi sn; Colletidae (Hylaeinae): Hylaeus affinis sn, Hylaeus illinoisensis sn, Hylaeus mesillae sn, Hylaeus modestus modestus sn fq, Hylaeus sparsa sn; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena personata (Kr)

Wasps
Chrysididae: Chrysura pacifica; Gasteruptiidae: Gasteruption tarsatorius; Vespidae (Eumeninae): Ancistrocerus adiabatus, Eumenes fraterna

Flies
Syrphidae: Allograpta obliqua, Cheilosia hoodiana, Hiatomyia cyanescens fq, Paragus bicolor, Paragus tibialis, Pipiza femoralis, Rhingia nasica, Sphaerophoria contiqua, Sphegina campanulata, Sphegina rufiventris, Syritta pipiens fq, Syrphus ribesii, Toxomerus geminatus, Toxomerus marginatus; Bombyliidae: Aldrichia ehrmanii, Bombylius major; Empididae: Empis distans fq, Empis humilis, Empis loripedis; Conopidae: Myopa vesiculosa; Tachinidae: Gymnosoma fuliginosum, Siphona geniculata fq, Tachinomyia panaetius; Anthomyiidae: Botanophila inornata, Delia platura; Psilidae: Chyliza apicalis; Chloropidae: Siphonella oscinina

Butterflies
Pieridae: Colias philodice

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Erynnis martialis

Beetles
Chrysomelidae: Gibbobruchus mimus; Curculionidae: Idiostethus subcalvus, Idiostethus tubulatus; Mordellidae: Mordellistena scapularis; Pyrochroidae: Pedilus terminalis

Plant Bugs
Miridae: Lygus lineolaris

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Osmorhiza longistylis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Osmorhiza longistylis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 11
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is dappled sunlight to moderate shade, moist to mesic conditions, and rich loamy soil with decaying organic matter. In a garden situation, this plant will probably thrive in a sheltered area underneath a deciduous tree. Range & Habitat
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Wikipedia

Osmorhiza longistylis

Osmorhiza longistylis is a perennial herb of Eastern North America and the Rocky Mountains region. [1] It is known as aniseroot, longstyle sweetroot, American sweet cicely, licorice root, wild anise, or simply sweet cicely, a name that applies to other members of its genus Osmorhiza generally.

Uses[edit]

It is a medicinal herb that was used by Native Americans. [2]

In use it should not be confused with species of poison hemlock, water hemlock, or baneberry.

References[edit]

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