Gillenia stipulata (Muhl.) Trel.

Gillenia stipulata plant

Family - Rosaceae

Stems - To +1m tall, herbaceous, erect, glabrous to pubescent, branching, multiple from base, sub-hollow, greenish to red above, from caudex, rhizomatous.

Gillenia stipulata stem

Leaves - Alternate, stipulate, short-petiolate, trifoliolate. Stipules large, foliaceous, serrate, ovate, +/-2.5cm long and broad, pubescent below, glabrous ir sparse pubescent above. Leaflets sessile, linear-lanceolate, to 9cm long, 2cm broad, serrate, pubescent below, sparse pubescent above, central leaflet slightly larger than lateral leaflets. Leaflets of lowest leaves pinnatifid.

Gillenia stipulata leafLower leaf.

Gillenia stipulata leafUpper leaf.

Inflorescence - Axillary and terminal loose few-flowered panicles. Each divisions of inflorescence subtended by reduced foliaceous bract.

Flowers - Petals 5, white, acute to acuminate, 1.2cm long, 3-4mm broad, glabrous, oblong, clawed. Claw to 3mm long. Stamens 20, borne at edge of hypanthium, in two sets. Filaments white, glabrous, 2mm long. Anthers tan, 1mm in diameter. Pistils 5, distinct. Styles white, 3mm long, glabrous. Ovaries yellow-green, 1.9mm long. Hypanthium tube 5-6mm long, 3-4mm in diameter, greenish-white to reddish, truncate at base, glabrous. Sepals 5, acute, 1.1mm long, with some pubescence internally near apex. Follicles to 8mm long, glabrous, with +/-3 seeds.

Gillenia stipulata hypanthiumHypanthium.

Gillenia stipulata flower

Flowering - May - July.

Habitat - Rocky open woods, roadsides.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - A common name for this plant is "American Ipecac" because the plant had been used by natives as a laxative and emetic. This is not, however, the common Ipecac of modern medicine. Today's Ipecac comes from Cephaelis ipecacuanha, a member of the Rubiaceae from South America.
A synonym is Porteranthus stipulatus (Muhl.) Britt.

Photographs taken in Minimum, MO., 5-31-03.


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