Streptopus amplexifolius (L.) DC.

clasping-leaved twistedstalk

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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

Clasping-leaved twistedstalk is present in most of New England except for the southern coastal plain. The name refers to the fact that the leaf blades clasp the stem, one way to distinguish this species from its sister taxon lance-leaved twistedstalk (Streptopus lanceolatus). Native Americans ate the berries and young shoots of this species, and used the roots and leaves to treat various medical conditions.

Habitat

Alpine or subalpine zones, forests, shores of rivers or lakes

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade shape
  • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
  • the leaf blade is oblong (rectangular but with rounded ends)
  • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
Leaf blade length
50–150 mm
Flower petal color
  • green to brown
  • white
  • yellow
Flower petal length
9–15 mm
Petal fusion
  • the perianth parts are fused to form a tube, cup, or bell shape
  • the perianth parts are separate
Inflorescence type
the flowers grow out of the axil (point where a branch or leaf is attached to the main stem)
Ovary position
the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
Fruit type (specific)
the fruit is a berry (fleshy, with the wall enclosing one or more sections, with two or more seeds)
Fruit length
10–12 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Axillary bulblets
    there are no bulblets being produced in axils
  • Flowers
    Anther attachment
    the anther is attached by its base to the filament
    Anther length
    3–3.5 mm
    Bulblets replace flowers
    there are no bulblets where the flowers are located
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused (the number of carpels equals the number of locules)
    Flower orientation
    the flowers point upward or spread or curve outward
    Flower petal color
    • green to brown
    • white
    • yellow
    Flower petal length
    9–15 mm
    Flower shape
    the flower is bell-shaped
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Fringed petal edges
    the petals are not fringed
    Hairs on flower stalk
    the flower stalk has no hairs on it
    Inflorescence type
    the flowers grow out of the axil (point where a branch or leaf is attached to the main stem)
    Length of flower stalk
    20–50 mm
    Marks on petals
    there are no noticeable marks on the petals
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of carpels
    3
    Number of pistils
    1
    Number of sepals and/or petals
    there are six petals, sepals or tepals in the flower
    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 appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal base
    the petal narrows gradually or does not narrow at the base
    Petal fusion
    • the perianth parts are fused to form a tube, cup, or bell shape
    • the perianth parts are separate
    Sepal appearance
    the sepals resemble petals in color and texture
    Sepal length
    9–15 mm
    Sepal orientation
    • the sepals are curved outwards and downwards
    • the sepals are slightly curved outwards from the plant
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are separate from one another
    Spathe
    the plant does not have a spathe
    Spathe form
    NA
    Spathe length
    0 mm
    Stamen length
    0.8–3 mm
    Stamen number
    6
    Stamen position relative to petals
    NA
    Stamen types
    the stamens within a cycle are distinctly of two types
    Stamens fused
    the stamens are not fused to one another
    Stamens fused outwards
    the stamens are fused to the petals or tepals at or near their bases
    Style length
    4–5 mm
    Style petal-like
    the style is not broad and flattened like a petal
    Tepals
    the petals and sepals are similar in size and color
  • Fruits or seeds
    Berry color
    • orange
    • red
    • yellow
    Capsule ridges
    NA
    Fruit compartments
    there are three locules in the fruit
    Fruit length
    10–12 mm
    Fruit stalk orientation
    the fruits curve or droop downwards
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is fleshy
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a berry (fleshy, with the wall enclosing one or more sections, with two or more seeds)
    Other markings on berry
    the ripe fruits are mostly one color without spots or streaks
  • Glands or sap
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Root septa
    the roots do not have transverse septa
    Underground organs
    the plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade basal lobes
    the leaf blades do not have basal lobes
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf blade clasps the stem at the base, or the leaf blade goes all the way around the stem, so that the stem appears to pierce the leaf blade
    Leaf blade base shape
    The base of the leaf blade is cordate (heart-shaped, with rounded lobes) or sagittate (arrow-shaped, with pointed, backward-facing lobes)
    Leaf blade cross-section
    the leaf blade is more or less flat in cross-section
    Leaf blade faces
    both surfaces of the leaf blade are exposed
    Leaf blade form
    Fully-formed (i.e., expanded), +/- green leaf blades are found somewhere on the plant
    Leaf blade length
    50–150 mm
    Leaf blade orientation
    the upper surface of the leaf blade faces the stem of the plant
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is oblong (rectangular but with rounded ends)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    the upper side of the leaf blade is relatively uniform in color
    Leaf blade tip
    the tip of the leaf blade is acuminate (tapers to a long, thin point)
    Leaf blade veins
    the lateral veins are parallel or slightly arched in the direction of the tip
    Leaf blade width
    25–60 mm
    Leaf stalk length
    0 mm
    Leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
    Leaflet number
    0
    Stipule twining
    NA
    Stipules
    there are no stipules on this plant
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • alpine or subalpine zones
    • forests
    • shores of rivers or lakes
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the leaves have no particular smell
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem growth form
    the flowering stem is held upright
    Flowering stem leaves
    there is at least one fully-formed leaf on the flowering stem
    Stem hairs
    the stem has hairs on it

Wetland Status

Occurs in wetlands or non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FAC)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

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

Connecticut
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), threatened (code: T)
Maine
unranked (S-rank: SNR)
Massachusetts
uncommon (uncertain) (S-rank: S3?), #NAME? (code: #NAME?)

var. americanus

Connecticut
extremely rare (S-rank: S1)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Streptopus lanceolatus:
leaf blades not clasping and nodes of stem pubescent (vs. S. amplexifolius, with leaf blades clasping stem and nodes of stem without hairs).

Synonyms

  • Streptopus amplexifolius ssp. americanus (J.A. & J.H. Schultes) A. & D. Löve
  • Streptopus amplexifolius var. denticulatus Fassett
  • Streptopus amplexifolius var. grandiflorus Fassett
  • Uvularia amplexifolia L.

Family

Liliaceae

Genus

Streptopus

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Streptopus amplexifolius (L.) DC. N

clasping-leaved twistedstalk. Streptopus amplexifolius (L.) DC. ssp. americanus (J.A. & 
J.H. Schultes) A. & D. Löve; S. amplexifolius (L.) DC. var. denticulatus Fassett; S. amplexifolius
(L.) DC. var. grandiflorus Fassett; Uvularia amplexifolia L. • CT, MA, ME, NH, VT; absent 
from the coastal plain of southern New England. Mesic forests and stream banks in north-
temperate to subalpine areas, sometimes ascending above treeline in sheltered gullies 
and snowbank communities.

1×2. Streptopus amplexifolius × Streptopus lanceolatus Streptopus ×‌oreopolis Fern. is a rare, sterile, diploid hybrid. It is known from subalpine and alpine forests and meadows in ME, NH. From S. amplexifolius it can be recognized apart by its leaf margin cilia (22–40 per cm), red-purple to purple tepals, frequently pubescent pedicels, and green (rather than glaucous) abaxial leaf blade surface. From S. lanceolatus it can be recognized apart by its red-purple to purple tepals, its cordate-clasping leaf blades, usually glabrous nodes, more spreading tepal apices, and more elongate fruit (see identification key for character states of the parental species).