Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. Vol. 2: 128. Provided by Kentucky Native Plant Society. Scanned by Omnitek Inc
Where Commonly Found: Extremely rare in RI, but otherwise present in our region. Floodplains and forests
How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key for Caulophyllum thalictroides.
Illinois Wildflower’s description of Caulophyllum thalictroides. Click on more images.
Flower Color: Depending upon eco-type can be greenish yellow, greenish purple or greenish brown.
Flower Type: Panicle, 1″-3″ longs, rounded or elongated with 5-30 flowers. Each flower is about 1/3″ across with 6 sepals, 6 stamens and an ovary with a beak-like style. There are 3-4 green sepal-like bractlets beneath the flowers.
Flower Time: Mid-Late Spring before leaves fully develop.
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate, one leaf per node along unbranched central, light green to pale purple, glabrous and often glaucous, stem. There is only a single compound leaf, near the top of the plant, when not in flower. When in flower there are two compound leaves. The lower compound leaf is divided into a whorl of 3 compound leaflets, each with 9 sub-leaflets arranged in groups, 2 laterally and one terminal . Occasionally the compound leaf may be divided into 15 simple sub-leaflets.
Leaf Type: Compound, (see Leaf Arrangement above). Upper surfaces can be anything from gray-green, yellowish green or medium green. Lower surfaces in pale green and glabrous.
Height: 1′ – 3′
Seed Collection: AS THIS PLANT IS RARE OR ENDANGERED IN PARTS OF OUR REGION PLEASE FOLLOW GUIDELINES BY THE CENTER FOR PLANT CONSERVATION. Seeds are fleshy, berry-like, about 1/3″ across, globoid, glabrous and glaucous. Starting off green and becoming bright blue at maturity.
Use: Naturalizing woodland garden.
Light: Part to Full Shade
Hardiness Zone: 3 – 8 USDA Zone Map
Soils: Medium, but not drying out.
Notes: Showy berry-like fruit, POISONOUS TO CHILDREN, plant is slow to establish, will take 3 years to flower from seed. All parts of the plant can cause skin irritation.
Native to: New England and NY States, rare in parts of RI, native to most of eastern, southern and mid-western US. Biota of North American, North American Plant Atlas.
Requested by Bronx River Wildflower Corridor, Roseanne Andrade.