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Lizard's Tail has attractive foliage and flowers. The leaves of this plant resemble those of some tropical Philodendron spp. (Philodendrons), which are cultivated indoors as houseplants. However, they are not closely related. This distinctive plant is easy to identify; no other member of the Lizard's Tail family occurs in the eastern half of the United States. The common and scientific names refer to the nodding spikes of flowers, as 'Saurus' means lizard and 'cernuus' means nodding. Another common name for this species is 'Water Dragon.' While Lizard's Tail has few enemies among the vertebrate and invertebrate fauna, it is sometimes attacked by wetland species of dodder (Cuscuta spp.); these are unusual parasitic vines that resemble tangled masses of yellow string.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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