Gillenia trifoliata (L.) Moench

Bowman's-root

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Although native to eastern North America, Bowman's-root is absent from New England except as introduced plants in Massachusetts. Native Americans used this plant as a medicinal herb to treat a variety of ailments.

Habitat

Forest edges, forests

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
Flower petal color
  • pink to red
  • white
Leaf type
the leaves are compound (made up of two or more discrete leaflets
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower symmetry
there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Bulbils
    the plant does not appear to have bulbils
    Bulblets replace flowers
    there are no bulblets where the flowers are located
  • Flowers
    Anther opening
    the anthers have narrow slits or furrows that run lengthwise along the anthers
    Anther spurs
    the anthers do not have spurs on them
    Calyx symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the calyx (the calyx is radially symmetrical)
    Carpels fused
    the carpel is solitary or (if 2 or more) the carpels are not fused to one another
    Cleistogamous flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on the plan
    Corolla morphology
    NA
    Corolla palate
    no
    Corona lobe length
    0 mm
    Epicalyx
    the flower does not have an epicalyx
    Epicalyx number of parts
    0
    Filament surface
    the filament is smooth, with no hairs or scales
    Flower petal color
    • pink to red
    • white
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Flowers sunken into stem
    no
    Fused stamen clusters
    NA
    Horns in hoods (Asclepias)
    NA
    Hypanthium
    the flower has a hypanthium
    Inflorescence one-sided
    the flowers are arrayed in a spiral around the inflorescence axis or branches, or occur singly, or in several ranks
    Inner tepals (Rumex)
    NA
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of styles
    1
    Ovary position
    the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes two cycles of petal- or sepal-like structures
    Petal and sepal colors
    • pink to red
    • white
    Petal appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal folds or pleats
    the petals of the flower do not have folds or plaits
    Petal hairs (Viola)
    NA
    Petal tips (Cuscuta)
    NA
    Reproductive system
    all the flowers have both carpels and stamens (synoecious)
    Scales inside corolla
    no
    Sepal and petal color
    the sepals are different from the petals
    Sepal appendages
    the sepals do not have appendages on them
    Sepal appendages (Oenothera)
    NA
    Sepal number
    5
    Stamen attachment
    the stamens are attached at or near the bases of the petals or tepals
    Staminodes
    there are no staminodes on the flower
    Umbel flower reproductive parts
    NA
    Upper lip of bilabiate corolla
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene surface (Polygonum)
    NA
    Berry color
    NA
    Capsule color (Viola)
    NA
    Capsule ribs
    NA
    Fruit (pyxis) dehiscence
    NA
    Fruit features (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Fruit locules
    one
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
    Legumes (Fabaceae)
    NA
    Mericarp length
    0 mm
    Mericarp segment shape (Desmodium)
    NA
    Other markings on berry
    NA
    Rows of seeds in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit compression
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit segments
    0
    Septum in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    prickles on fruits
    the fruits do not have thorn-like defensive structures
  • Glands or sap
    Glands on leaf blade
    the leaf blades do not have glandular dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
    Sap color
    the sap is clear
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Parasitism
    the plant is not parasitic
    Plant color
    the leaves or young stems of the plant are green
    Plants darken when dry
    no
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
  • Leaves
    Bracteole number (Apiaceae)
    0
    Bracts in plantain (Plantago)
    NA
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade surface colors
    the upper side of the leaf blade is relatively uniform in color
    Leaf duration
    the leaves drop off in winter (or they whither but persist on the plant)
    Leaf form
    the leaves are green, with an expanded blade and a leaf-like texture
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf teeth and lobes
    the leaf blade margin has forward-pointing teeth
    Leaf type
    the leaves are compound (made up of two or more discrete leaflets
    Leaves per node
    there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Stipels
    there are no stipels at the bases of the petiolules
    Stipule features
    NA
    Stipules
    the plant has stipules
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    Specific habitat
    • edges of forests
    • forests
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Branched tendrils
    NA
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Plant height
    50–100 cm
    Tendril origin
    NA
    Tendrils
    the plant does not have tendrils

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

None

Native to North America?

Yes and no (some introduced)

Synonyms

  • Porteranthus trifoliatus (L.) Britt.

Family

Rosaceae

Genus

Gillenia

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Gillenia trifoliata (L.) Moench E

Bowman’s-root. Porteranthus trifoliatus (L.) Britt. • MA. Forests, forest fragments. This species was reported from RI by Kartesz (1999), based on George (1992); however, George (1999) stated it had questionable naturalization in RI and was unaware of any collections.