Smilacina racemosa (L.) Desf.

Smilacina racemosa plant

Family - Liliaceae

Stems - To +50cm long, herbaceous, arching, simple, from a rhizome, simple, mostly glabrous but short hirsute at apex, slightly zig-zag in upper portions.

Leaves - Alternate, sessile, slightly sheathing at the base, entire but with strigillose-ciliolate margins, abruptly acuminate to acute, with 3-5 main veins, elliptic-oblong, glabrous above, short pubescent on veins below, to +/-11cm long, +/-4cm broad.

Smilacina racemosa leaf

Smilacina racemosa leavesLeaves "in-situ".

Inflorescence - Terminal panicle to +/-7cm long in flower. Axis mostly white, hirsutulous. Pedicels to 1.5mm long.

Flowers - Tepals 6, white, glabrous, spreading, to 1.5mm long. Stamens 6, erect to spreading, opposite the tepals. Filaments compressed, broadest at the base, white, glabrous, to 2mm long.Anthers pale yellow, bi-lobed, 1mm long. Ovary superior, ovoid, glabrous, white, 3-locular, -1.5mm long. Styles wanting. Placentation axile. Ovules 2 per locule. Fruit a reddish berry to 6mm in diameter.

Smilacina racemosa flowers

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Rich woods.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This is a common species throughout Missouri. The plant flourishes in the early season but tends to wilt and die off by the late summer months.
Traditionally the plant was eaten and also used as a remedy for many ailments from constipation to insanity.

Photographs taken at the Leawood City Park, Leawood, Kansas, 4-26-00, and at the Noblett Lake Recreational Area, Douglas County, MO., 5-18-01.


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