Triosteum perfoliatum L. - Late Horse Gentian


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Triosteum perfoliatum - (image 1 of 4)



Family: Caprifoliaceae


Open woodlands and thickets, often on thin or rocky soils. Along railroads and fencerows.




MA west to southern Ontario and MN, south to SC and OK.


Herbaceous perennial to 1.3 m. Stems with abundant stiff hairs that are mostly less than 0.5 mm. Leaves obovate, ovate-oblong, or subrhombic, narrowed below the middle but broadly connate-perfoliate at the base, sparsely setose above, usually softly hairy beneath. Flowers axillary, mostly 3-4 per axil; sepals 10-18 mm, finely and uniformly hairy and often glandular on the back and margin, linear, elongate, persisting on the fruit; corolla tubular-campanulate, gibbous at the base, unequally 5-lobed, crisp-hairy, purplish to dull greenish-yellow, the style exserted about 2 mm. Fruit a dry, subglobose, dull orange-yellow drupe containing 3 oblong stones.


Flowers mid May to mid June

Wetland indicator: Upland

Also called wild coffee because the dried and roasted berries have been used as a coffee substitute. The flowers were not fully open when I took this pictures.


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 2005