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Moist woods and thickets
Quebec west to MN and SD, south to FL and TX.
Perennial vine; rhizomes with 2 or more tubers. Leaves alternate, once pinnate; leaflets 5-7, glabrous, lanceolate, 4-6 cm. Flowers in short racemes from the leaf axils, maroon to brown-purple; standard rounded or retuse at the summit.
Flowers July to September.
Wetland indicator: Facultative Wetland
The underground stems produce rather large, edible tubers that were an important food source for Native Americans and early settlers. Washed and peeled, they can be boiled or roasted and used like potatoes.
Gleason, Henry A.
and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States
and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY
Peterson, L. A. 1977. A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America.
Houghton Mifflin Company. New York, NY
Swink, F. and G.
Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.
© Michael Hough 2004