IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This native perennial plant is about 2' tall, branching occasionally. The stems are light green or reddish green and covered with long white hairs (in this variety of Aniseroot). The alternate leaves are ternately compound; the lower compound leaves are up to 1' long with long petioles, while the upper compound leaves are much smaller. Each compound leaf is divided into 3 compound leaflets; the terminal compound leaflet is the largest. Each compound leaflet is further divided into 3 leaflets; the terminal leaflet is the largest. Each leaflet is more or less shallowly cleft or coarsely crenate along its margins. In this variety of Aniseroot, there are scattered fine hairs across the upper surface of the foliage. Some of the upper stems terminate in compound umbels of white flowers. There are about 5 umbellets per compound umbel. An umbellet usually has 8-16 flowers and several linear-lanceolate bracts at its base. An umbellet is 1–2" across and its flowers are crowded together. Each tiny flower has 5 white petals that are notched at their tips, 5 white stamens, and a white slender stigma that is at least 2 mm. long (about as long or a little longer than the petals). The blooming period occurs during the late spring or very early summer and lasts about 2-3 weeks. The seeds are long, slender, 5-ribbed, and slightly bristly along the edges. The root system consists of a thick taproot with a strong anise scent.


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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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