Regularity: Regularly occurring
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Range and Habitat in Illinois
Localities documented in Tropicos sources
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)
Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
- Anonymous. 1986. List-Based Rec., Soil Conserv. Serv., U.S.D.A. Database of the U.S.D.A., Beltsville. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1103
- Voss, E. G. 1985. Michigan Flora. Part II Dicots (Saururaceae-Cornaceae). Bull. Cranbrook Inst. Sci. 59. xix + 724. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1700
- Gleason, H. A. 1968. The Choripetalous Dicotyledoneae. vol. 2. 655 pp. In H. A. Gleason Ill. Fl. N. U.S. (ed. 3). New York Botanical Garden, New York. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1704
- Small, J. K. 1933. Man. S.E. Fl. i–xxii, 1–1554. Published by the Author, New York. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1515
- Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Fl. Great Plains i–vii, 1–1392. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/637
- Fernald, M. 1950. Manual (ed. 8) i–lxiv, 1–1632. American Book Co., New York. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1327
Range and Habitat in Illinois
Flower-Visiting Insects of Harbinger-of-Spring in Illinois
(Honeybees suck nectar & collect pollen, flies suck nectar or feed on pollen, while other insects suck nectar; some observations are from Krombein et al. and Graenicher as indicated below, otherwise they are from Robertson)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn cp fq (Rb, Gr); Apidae (Bombini): Bombus vagans sn; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina calcarata sn, Ceratina dupla dupla sn fq; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Osmia atriventris sn, Osmia lignaria lignaria sn, Osmia pumila sn
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea, Augochlorella persimilis sn (Gr), Augochlorella striata, Augochloropsis metallica metallica, Halictus confusus sn (Rb, Gr), Halictus rubicunda, Lasioglossum forbesii, Lasioglossum foxii, Lasioglossum imitatus, Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus, Lasioglossum versatus; Colletidae (Colletinae): Colletes inaequalis fq; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena andrenoides andrenoides, Andrena arabis (Kr), Andrena carlini fq icp, Andrena erigeniae fq, Andrena erythronii, Andrena forbesii, Andrena mariae, Andrena miserabilis bipunctata, Andrena nigrae (Kr), Andena nuda, Andrena rugosa fq icp, Andrena salictaria, Andrena sayi
Chrysididae: Chrysura pacifica
Tipulidae: Limonia canadensis; Stratiomyidae: Odontomyia pubescens; Syrphidae: Brachypalpus oarus, Cheilosia capillata, Eristalis dimidiatus fq, Eristalis stipator, Eupeodes americanus, Helophilus fasciatus, Platycheirus hyperboreus, Platycheirus obscurus fq, Syritta pipiens, Toxomerus geminatus, Toxomerus marginatus; Bombyliidae: Bombylius major; Tachinidae: Chetogena claripennis, Epalpus signifer, Gonia capitata fq (Rb, Gr), Siphona geniculata (Gr); Sarcophagidae: Ravinia derelicta; Calliphoridae: Cynomya cadaverina, Lucilia illustris (Gr), Phormia regina, Pollenia rudis (Gr); Muscidae: Neomyia cornicina (Rb, Gr); Anthomyiidae: Delia platura, Leucophora unistriata; Fanniidae: Fannia manicata; Lonchaeidae: Dasiops latifrons, Earomyia aberrans, Lonchaea polita (Gr); Scathophagidae: Scathophaga furcata (Rb, Gr); Chloropidae: Apallates coxendix, Elachiptera costata
Pieridae: Pontia protodice
Noctuidae: Anagrapha falcifera
Chrysomelidae: Acalymma vittata; Oedemeridae: Asclera ruficollis
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Erigenia bulbosa
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Erigenia bulbosa, also known as harbinger of spring or pepper and salt, is a perennial plant in the carrot family (Apiaceae). E. bulbosa is the only species in the genus Erigenia (Nutt.). This plant is known as harbinger of spring because it is one of the earliest blooming native wildflowers of rich forests in the mid-latitude United States. It is found as far north as central New York and southern Wisconsin, west to the western Ozarks, and south to central Alabama. It is also found in extreme southern Ontario.Throughout most of its range it blooms from late February through early April. It is a small spring ephemeral reaching only 5-15 cm tall when in flower, and slightly larger afterwards. Each spherical bulb gives rise to a single purplish stem, which terminates in an umbel. The flowers have white petals and large dark-reddish anthers. The teardrop shaped petals are 3-4 millimeters long, widely spaced and do not touch each other. As is characteristic of the carrot family, the leaves of this plant are sheathed at the base and pinnately divided into many small sections.
This plant is an occasional in rich hardwood forests of eastern North America. Its typical associates include spring beauty (Claytonia virginica), and cut-leaf tooth wort (Cardamine laciniata). All of these early spring blooming plants are pollinated by solitary bees, and to a lesser extent, flies and honey bees. E. bulbosa has a small daily accumulation of nectar per flower (7–38 µg sugar/flower), but the presence of numerous, closely arranged, simultaneously blooming flowers in the umbel may increase the overall nectar incentive for the pollinators. The nectar produced by E. bulbosa only contains the sugar fructose.
The bulb is edible both cooked and raw. The Cherokee were known to chew this plant as medicine for toothaches; it is unknown what parts of plant they chewed. This plant is sometimes used in native wildflower gardens throughout its range.
- USDA PLANTS Database: Erigenia bulbosa
- Dailey, T. B. & P. E. Scott 2006. Spring nectar sources for solitary bees and flies in a landscape of deciduous forest and agricultural fields: production, variability, and consumption. The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 133:535–547
- Dailey, et al. 2003. Nectar rewards of co-flowering spring herbs in woodlands and adjacent agricultural fields. Abstracts: 87th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America.
- Brent G. DeMars. OHIO J. SCI. 96 (4/5): 97-99, 1996 https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/1811/23719/V096N4-5_097.pdf;jsessionid=60FDF8EE2192E367749B66FB50208659?sequence=1.
- Plants for a Future Database: E. bulbosa.
- Dr. Moermann's Ethnobotanical database: E. bulbosa