NCBG North Carolina Botanical Garden

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

Scientific Name: or show all plants or perform combination search
Plant Family:

Aletris farinosa

Aletris farinosa L.

white colicroot, northern white colic-root, stargrass, mealy colic-root

Aletris farinosa (White Colicroot)
image by Stuart, Will

Key to Map Symbols.
NCBG PLANT INDEX
ID_PLANT: ALFA2
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Aletris farinosa
SELECTED SYNONYM:
GENUS: Aletris
FAMILY CODE: LILIAC

NCBG DESCRIPTIVES
INTRO: Scapose, rhizomatous perennial of pine savannas, pine flatwoods, seepage bogs, mafic fens and barrens, upland woodlands and road banks.
STEMS: Stem an unbranched, mostly naked a few small green bracts) flowering scape, rising from the center of a basal rosette.
LEAVES: Leaves spreading-ascending in a basal rosette, lance-shaped, 1 1/2-7 1/2 in. long, yellowish green.
INFLORESCENCE:
FLOWERS: Flowers in a spike-like raceme occupying the top 4–14 in. of the scape, white, ¼-3/8 in. long, cylindric to urn-shaped, composed of 6 fused petals that at full bloom flare into 6 pointed lobes; there is a slight constriction of the tube just below the lobes, and the tube has a granular-bumpy outer surface.
FRUITS: Fruit a beaked, oval capsule containing tiny reddish-brown seeds.
COMMENTS: The similar Aletris obovata has slightly smaller flowers (less than ¼ in. long) in which the corolla lobes remain closed, giving it a rounded tip; it is restricted to coastal pine savannas at the southern end of our range.
HEIGHT: 1-3.5 ft.

NCBG DURATION
ANNUAL: 0
BIENNIAL: 0
PERENNIAL: 1

NCBG HABIT
HERB: 1
SUBSHRUB: 0
SHRUB: 0
TREE: 0
CACTUS/SUCCULENT: 0
GRASS/GRASSLIKE: 0
FERN: 0
VINE: 0

NCBG LEAF ARRANGEMENT
ALTERNATE: 0
OPPOSITE: 0
WHORLED: 0
BASAL: 1
FASCICLED: 0

NCBG LEAF COMPLEXITY
SIMPLE: 1
PINNATE: 0
BI-PINNATE: 0
TRI-PINNATE: 0
PALMATE: 0
TRIFOLIOLATE: 0

NCBG LEAF RETENTION
DECIDUOUS: 0
EVERGREEN: 0
SEMI-EVERGREEN: 0

NCBG DISTRIBUTION
HABITAT TYPE: Bogs/pocosins, Disturbed, Pine savannas, Woods margins
NATIVE RANGE: Eastern North America

NCBG FLORAL SYMMETRY
RADIAL (ACTINOMORPHIC): 1
BILATERAL (ZYGOMORPHIC): 0
MIXED (BOTH ACTINOMORPHIC and ZYGOMORPHIC): 0

NCBG PHENOLOGY
bloom_time: Apr-July
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
x x x x x
bloom_color: White
White Red Pink Orange Yellow Green Blue Lavender Purple Violet Brown Not Applicable
x

fruit_time: July-Aug.

NCBG PLANT SALE
PLANT SALE TEXT: White colicroot is a perennial herb and member of the lily family that resembles the orchid, nodding ladies’-tresses (Spiranthes cernua). It has grass-like leaves that are topped by a round stem with a spike-like cluster of small white, urn-shaped flowers. White colicroot spreads by means of underground rhizomes and forms rosettes of leaves. Traditionally, the roots were gathered and used to treat colic.

Cultural Notes:

Bee Friendly: 1
Butterfly Friendly: 1
Bird Friendly: 0
Hummingbird Friendly: 0

SOIL MOISTURE:
Soil Dry: 1
Soil Average: 1
Soil Moist/Wet: 1
Soil Well-drained: 0

LIGHT EXPOSURE
Sun: 1
Part Shade: 0
Shade: 0

MINIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 3
MAXIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 9

GERMINATION CODE: 2, 4

NCBG RECORD
ID IMAGE: 19273
ID IMAGE2: 9928
ID IMAGE3: 23821
Publish to Web: 1
Last Modified: 2017-11-18

USDA PLANTS DATABASE
USDA Symbol: ALFA2
USDA Common Name: White Colicroot
Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Distribution: USA (AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV), CAN (ON)
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Forb/herb

NATIONAL WETLAND INDICATOR STATUS

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FAC FAC FAC FAC FAC FAC

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2016 National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.3 (Lichvar, R.W., D.L. Banks, W.N. Kirchner, and N.C. Melvin. 2016. The National Wetland Plant List: 2016 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2016-30: 1-17. Published 28 April 2016. ISSN 2153 733X). Regions: AGCP-Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, AK-Alaska, AW-Arid West, CB-Caribbean, EMP-Eastern Mountains and Piedmont, GP-Great Plains, HI-Hawaii, MW-Midwest, NCNE-Northcentral and Northeast, WMCV-Western Mountains, Valleys & Coast
STATE RANKS
STATE RANK:
GLOBAL RANK:
STATE STATUS:
US STATUS:
TRACKED STATUS:

WEAKLEY FLORA
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Aletris farinosa
COMMON NAME: Northern White Colic-root, Mealy Colic-root, Stargrass
SYNONYMY: [= C, F, FNA, G, GW, K, Pa, RAB, S, Tn, Va, W, WH3, X, Z]
PHENOLOGY: Late Apr-early Jun; Jul-Aug.
HABITAT: Pine savannas, pine flatwoods, seepage bogs, mafic fens and barrens, upland woodlands, roadbanks.
COMMENTS: S. ME, s. ON, and se. MN south to s. GA, FL (Wunderlin & Hansen 2011), LA, and TX, the only species of the genus not restricted (or nearly so) to the Coastal Plain.
RANGE MAP: Aletris farinosa.png

ABOUT FAMILY (Weakley Flora)
Liliaceae A.L. de Jussieu 1789 (Lily Family)
SUMMARY: As here interpreted narrowly, the Liliaceae constitutes about 11 genera and 550 species, of the Northern Hemisphere. There has been much investigation and re-interpretation of evidence regarding the upper-level taxonomy of the Liliales, with strong suggestions that the broad Liliaceae recognized by Cronquist (1981) is artificial and polyphyletic. Cronquist (1981) himself concurs, at least to a degree: we still await a comprehensive reorganization of the lilies into several families more comparable to other recognized families of angiosperms. Dahlgren & Clifford (1982) and Dahlgren, Clifford, & Yeo (1985) synthesized an early phase in the modern revolution of monocot taxonomy. Since then, additional research, especially molecular (Duvall et al. 1993, Chase et al. 1993, Bogler & Simpson 1995, and many others more recently), has strongly validated the general lines (and many details) of Dahlgrens arrangement.
REFERENCE: Chen et al. (2013); Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (1998, 2003, 2009); Tamura in Kubitzki (1998a). [also see AGAVACEAE, ALLIACEAE, ALSTROEMERIACEAE, AMARYLLIDACEAE, ASPARAGACEAE, COLCHICACEAE, HELONIADACEAE, HEMEROCALLIDACEAE, HOSTACEAE, HYACINTHACEAE, HYPOXIDACEAE, MELANTHIACEAE, NARTHECIACEAE, RUSCACEAE, SMILACACEAE, THEMIDACEAE, TOFIELDIACEAE, TRILLIACEAE, XEROPHYLLACEAE]
ABOUT GENUS (Weakley Flora)
Aletris Linnaeus 1753 (Colic-root, Stargrass)
SUMMARY: As circumscribed here (excluding Metanarthecium, following Fuse, Lee, & Tamura 2012), a genus of about 30 species, of e. North America and e. Asia.
REFERENCE: Weigant (2002)=X; Ward (1978)=Y; Zomlefer (1997b)=Z; Fuse, Lee, & Tamura (2012); Tamura in Kubitzki (1998a); Sullivan in FNA (2002a).
HERBARIUM RESOURCES
SERNEC: Find Aletris farinosa in Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)
UNC SERNEC: Find Aletris farinosa in University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium - Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)

WEB RESOURCES
USDA: Find Aletris farinosa in USDA Plants
NPIN: Find Aletris farinosa in NPIN Database
FNA: Find Aletris farinosa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Aletris farinosa

From the Image Gallery


Image ID: 4117

Image ID: 9929

Image ID: 9927

Image ID: 23820

Image ID: 23822

Image ID: 23823

Image ID: 23824

Image ID: 23825

Image ID: 23821

Image ID: 9928

Image ID: 19272

Image ID: 10540
13 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

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