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Aletris farinosa L.
white colicroot, northern white colic-root, stargrass, mealy colic-root
NCBG PLANT INDEX
image by Stuart, Will
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Aletris farinosa
FAMILY: LILIAC - Liliaceae (Lily Family)
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 flowering scape with a few small bracts, 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.
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’s outer surface is granular-bumpy.
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.
BLOOM TIME: Apr-July
BLOOM COLOR: White
FRUITING PERIOD: July-Aug.
HABITAT TYPE: Bogs/pocosins, Disturbed, Pine savannas, Woods margins
NATIVE RANGE: Eastern North America
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.
Dry, Average, Moist/Wet
MINIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 3
MAXIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 9
GERMINATION CODE: 2, 4
Bee Friendly, Butterfly Friendly
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)
Growth Habit: Forb/herb
NATIONAL WETLAND INDICATOR STATUSThis 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
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).
Seeds of Success (SOS)
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)
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
ID IMAGE1: 19273
ID IMAGE2: 0
ID IMAGE3: 23821
Include in WOTAS: 1
Publish to Web: 1
Last Modified: 2018-02-06
From the Image Gallery
Image ID: 4117
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Image ID: 23823
Image ID: 23824
Image ID: 23825
Image ID: 23821
Image ID: 9928
Image ID: 19272
Image ID: 35451
Image ID: 10540
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