Cryptotaenia canadensis (L.) DC.

Cryptotaenia canadensis plant

Family - Apiaceae

Stems - To +1m tall, erect, herbaceous, from slender to thickened roots, branching, glabrous.

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate below, sessile above, trifoliolate. Petioles of lowest leaves to +/-10cm long, sheathing, glabrous. Leaflets to +/-15cm long, 8cm broad, double-serrate, often obliquely lobed. Undivided leaflets typically ovate, acute to acuminate. All leaflets glabrous, abruptly contracted near base and with tissue decurrent on petiolule.

Cryptotaenia canadensis leaf

Cryptotaenia canadensis leaf

Cryptotaenia canadensis leaf

Inflorescence - Terminal and axillary compound umbels. Rays of umbels unequal, glabrous, to +2cm long. Raylets unequal, glabrous, to 7mm long. Umbellets subtended by 1-3 lanceolate bracts(bractlets). Bracts to 4mm long, 1mm broad.

Flowers - Petals 5, white, involute, to 2mm long, .6mm broad, apiculate, glabrous. Stamens 5, spreading. Filaments white, glabrous, .9mm long. Anthers yellow. Styles 2, glabrous, white, 1mm long, persistent in fruit. Ovary inferior, green, glabrous, 1.4mm long, .9mm broad. Fruit to 6mm long, ribbed, somewhat compressed.

Flowering - May - August.

Habitat - Edges of streams, low wet ground.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This plant is abundant during its growing season and can be found along just about any stream or creek. It is one of the edible members of the carrot family.

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 5-27-00.


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