Saururus cernuus L.

lizard's-tail

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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

Found across the eastern, midwestern and southern parts of North America, Lizard's-tail is very rare in New England. It has been documented in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

Habitat

Shores of rivers or lakes, swamps, wetland margins (edges of wetlands)

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
Flower petal color
NA
Leaf type
the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade is entire (has no teeth or lobes)
Flower symmetry
NA
Number of sepals, petals or tepals
there are no petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower, or they are not clearly present
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 spurs
    the anthers do not have spurs on them
    Calyx symmetry
    NA
    Cleistogamous flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on the plan
    Corona lobe length
    0 mm
    Epicalyx number of parts
    0
    Flower description
    the flower has a superior ovary, and lacks a hypanthium
    Flower petal color
    NA
    Flower reproductive parts
    the flower has both pollen- and seed-producing parts
    Flower symmetry
    NA
    Flowers sunken into stem
    no
    Fused stamen clusters
    NA
    Horns in hoods (Asclepias)
    NA
    Hypanthium
    the flower does not have 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 sepals, petals or tepals
    there are no petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower, or they are not clearly present
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes neither petals nor sepals
    Petal and sepal colors
    NA
    Petal appearance
    NA
    Petal hairs (Viola)
    NA
    Petal tips (Cuscuta)
    NA
    Scales inside corolla
    NA
    Sepal and petal color
    NA
    Sepal appendages
    the sepals do not have appendages on them
    Stamen attachment
    the stamens are not attached to 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 relative orientation
    NA
    Achene surface (Polygonum)
    NA
    Berry color
    NA
    Capsule color (Viola)
    NA
    Fruit (pyxis) dehiscence
    NA
    Fruit beak length
    anything
    Fruit features (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    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
    Wings on fruit
    the fruit does not have wings on it
    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
    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
    Final leaf segment length (compound lvs only)
    0 mm
    Final leaf segment length to width ratio (compound lvs only)
    0
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade is entire (has no teeth or lobes)
    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 stalk attachment to leaf
    the petiole attaches at the basal margin of the leaf blade
    Leaf stalk base
    the petiole base clasps the stem or sheathes the stem
    Leaf teeth and lobes
    the edge of the leaf blade is entire (has no teeth or lobes)
    Leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaflet number
    0
    Leaflet petiolules
    NA
    Leaves per node
    there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Stipels
    NA
    Stipule features
    NA
    Stipules
    there are no stipules on the plant
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    Specific habitat
    • edges of wetlands
    • shores of rivers or lakes
    • swamps
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Branched tendrils
    NA
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Tendril origin
    NA
    Tendrils
    the plant does not have tendrils

Wetland Status

Occurs only in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: OBL)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Connecticut
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Massachusetts
historical (S-rank: SH), #NAME? (code: #NAME?)
Rhode Island
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), state endangered (code: SE)

Native to North America?

Yes

Family

Saururaceae

Genus

Saururus

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Saururus cernuus L. NC

lizard’s-tail. CT, MA, RI. Swamps, shorelines, river banks.