Osmorhiza longistylis (Torr.) DC.
Family - Apiaceae
Stems - To 1m tall, glabrous to hirsute, branching, erect, herbaceous, from thickened roots.
Leaves - Alternate, ternate. Leaflets lobed to serrate, 1-5cm wide, 3-10cm long, pubescent to villous, ovate to lance-ovate.
Inflorescence - Compound umbels with typically +3 primary rays. Rays and umbellets subtended by recurved linear-lanceolate bracts. Bracts villous. Primary rays to -5cm long.
Bracts of inflorescence.
Flowers - Petals 5, white, subequal but typically one or two larger than the others, to 2mm long and broad, with apical tip curved adaxially. Margins of petal folded abaxially. Stamens 5, alternating with petals, spreading to erect. Filaments to -3mm long, white. Anthers .2mm long, pale-yellow. Styles +/- 2mm long in flower, equaling or longer than petals, spreading. Fruits lance-oblong in shape, +/- 10mm long, +/- 2mm wide near apex, tapering to base, black when mature. Styles in fruit 2-4mm long.
Styles of the flower.
Flowering - April - June.
Habitat - Moist ground in wooded areas, shaded slopes, ravines.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This licorice smelling plant can be found throughout Missouri. All parts of the plant exhibit a sweet fragrance but the roots and fruits are the best to chew on.
Photographs taken in the Ozark Scenic Riverways, Shannon County, MO., 5-20-03, and in Columbia, MO., 4-25-04.