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Moist, especially sandy woods, shores and prairies. Calcareous springy sites. Especially common in sandy Black Oak savanna and on sloping dunes facing Lake Michigan.
Most of the U.S. except states bordering the Atlantic from NC to TX. Also all but extreme northern Canada.
Herbaceous perennial to 25" high, finely hairy or glabrous. Leaves lanceolate or lance-oblong, to 6" wide and 2" wide, acute, ascending, usually folded, sessile and somewhat clasping, finely hairy beneath. Flowers few to several in a subsessile or short-peduncled terminal raceme; perianth segments more than 3 mm long, longer than the stamens, inflorescence racemose, flowers and fruits with long pedicels. Fruit to 0.4" in diameter, green with purple stripes, becoming uniformly red at maturity.
Flowers mid April to mid June
Wetland indicator: Facultative
Formerly known as Smilacina stellata (L.) Desf.
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
Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.
Michael Hough © 2005