A snakeroot from Rhonda in SC

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I’ve been waiting to see if this mysterious plant is a flower or a weed. I fear a weed I should pull from my yard soon before it seeds. It is now 30-36″ tall. I do not remember planting it; we are on the edge of a large wooded area. This is growing in full sun. Sprouted up in large deer resistant flower garden (800+ sq. ft.). Soil has a lot of clay in it although amended. There is a small percentage chance I planted something and forgot, but it’s starting to look a lot like a weed. Thank you.

Hi Rhonda,

your plant is one of the snakeroots, Sanicula canadensis or Sanicula smallii; if the fruit has a short stalk and if the roots are not thickened, it is probably S. canadensis, if the fruits are not stalked [sessile] and the roots are thickened or tuberous it is more likely Sanicula smallii.  This is  a rather common native herb related to parsley. The species can sometimes be difficult to identify.  It can be weedy.


Steve Hill, Botanist, SCNPS

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