Friday, June 10, 2016

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Clustered Snakeroot

This wildflower grows abundantly in Deep River County Park. To identify it, I had to go page by page through Newcomb's Wildflower Guide looking at every illustration, until on page 427 I found it. I had thought the flower consisted of five regular parts, but Newcomb classifies it under "parts indistinguishable."

2016-6-10. Clustered Snakeroot 1
(Click on images to enlarge)

The parts are undistinguished, I will grant him that. They are also tiny, and the plant grows in shady places, all of which makes the blossoms hard to photograph.

I went back a few days later and tried to get a photo of one in bloom. This is the best I could do:

2016-6-10. Clustered snakeroot 3

I wasn't too sure about the arrangement of the leaves, either. Newcomb considers them alternate, divided. So here's one leaf, divided into five leaflets:

2016-6-10. Clustered snakeroot 2

All that trouble just to identify a wildflower that isn't very interesting. It's not even poisonous, unlike white snakeroot — or if it is, nobody has bothered to mention that fact.

More here.

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