Classification Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Tracheophyta
Superdivision Spermatophyta
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Subclass Rosidae
Order Apiales
Family Apiaceae
Genus Sanicula
Species Sanicula odorata
Black snakeroot

Date: June 4, 2011. Location: Amana Woods (map)

BONAP, FNA, ITIS, USDA, VPI

Scientific Name: Sanicula odorata (syn. Sanicula gregaria) (Saniclua is said to be from sanare [L] to heal)

Common Name: Clustered Black snakeroot, Common Black snakeroot

Origin: Native

Notes: The USDA indicates four species of Sanicula in Iowa: S. marilandica, S. odorata (gregaria), S.trifoliata, and S. canadensis. Of these, the first two are distinguished by the long curved styles that show above the hooked bristles on the fruit—in the second two the styles are hidden among the bistles. One difference between the two long styled species is the relative flower color—greenish-white for S. marilandica and greenish-yellow for S. odorata (which is very common in Iowa).

Additional references: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.

Field Marks for Identification:

Flowers: June, greenish-yellow; inflorescence, irregular compound with polygamous heads; fruit, schizocarp, styles conspicuous among hooked prickles in the maturing fruit, ovules and fruit on short stalks.

Leaves: usually 3 parted—deeply cleft lateral leaflets may cause the leaf to appear 5 parted, margins are sharply toothed.

Glossaries of Botanical Terms: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

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