IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This native perennial plant is unbranched or sparsely branched in the upper half, and 1-2½' tall. The pale green central stem has light longitudinal lines. The alternate compound leaves are oddly pinnate and about 2-7" long, consisting of 3-9 pale green leaflets. Each leaflet is linear or narrowly oblanceolate, about 1" long and less than ¼" across. The margins are smooth, and the underside of each leaflet has numerous translucent dots. Both the stems and leaves are hairless. There is a short cylindrical spike of white flowers at the terminus of the central stem and each of the major side stems. This spike is about 1-3" tall and ¾" across. The small flowers form a wreath around the bottom of the spike, which moves upward as the season progresses. Each flower is about ¼" across, with 5 petals and 5 white stamens. The flowers often have a pleasant fragrance. The blooming occurs during early to mid-summer and lasts about a month. The seeds fall a short distance from the mother plant when the wind shakes the cylindrical spikes. The root system consists of a central taproot that can extend 5' into the ground. Cultivation


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

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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