Veratrum latifolium (Desr.) W.B. Zomlefer

slender bunch-flower

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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

Slender bunch-flower is found on rocky forest slopes, mainly in Appalachia. It reaches the northern limit of its range at the southern border of New England, where it is at least historically known from Connecticut.

Habitat

Forests

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
Connecticut
Leaf arrangement
  • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
  • basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
Leaf blade shape
the leaf blade is oblanceolate (lance-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
Leaf blade length
250–550 mm
Flower petal color
  • green to brown
  • white
  • yellow
Flower petal length
5–12 mm
Petal fusion
  • the perianth parts are fused to form a tube, cup, or bell shape
  • the perianth parts are separate
Inflorescence type
the inflorescence is a panicle (branched with the individual flowers on stalks)
Ovary position
the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
Fruit type (specific)
the fruit is a capsule (splits along two or more seams, apical teeth or pores when dry, to release two or more seeds)
Fruit length
12–19 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
    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 petal color
    • green to brown
    • white
    • yellow
    Flower petal length
    5–12 mm
    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
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence is a panicle (branched with the individual flowers on stalks)
    Marks on petals
    there are no noticeable marks on the petals
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of pistils
    3
    Number of styles
    3
    Ovary position
    the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Petal appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    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
    5–12 mm
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are separate from one another
    Spathe
    the plant does not have a spathe
    Spathe form
    NA
    Stamen number
    6
    Stamen position relative to petals
    NA
    Stamens fused outwards
    the stamens are fused to the petals or tepals at or near their bases
    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
    NA
    Fruit compartments
    there are three locules in the fruit
    Fruit length
    12–19 mm
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a capsule (splits along two or more seams, apical teeth or pores when dry, to release two or more seeds)
    Other markings on berry
    NA
  • Glands or sap
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Underground organs
    • the plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
    • the plant has one or more swollen storage organs underground, such as bulbs, tubers or corms
  • Leaves
    Leaf arrangement
    • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    • basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
    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
    NA
    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
    250–550 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    the leaf blade is oblanceolate (lance-shaped, but with the widest point above the middle of the leaf blade)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    the upper side of the leaf blade is relatively uniform in color
    Leaf blade veins
    the lateral veins are parallel or slightly arched in the direction of the tip
    Leaf blade width
    10–72 mm
    Leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
    Stipule twining
    NA
    Stipules
    there are no stipules on this plant
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    Connecticut
    Specific habitat
    forests
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the leaves have no particular smell
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem leaves
    there is at least one fully-formed leaf on the flowering stem

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

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

Connecticut
historical (S-rank: SH), special concern, extirpated (code: SC*)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Stenanthium gramineum

Synonyms

  • Melanthium hybridum Walt.
  • Melanthium hybridum Walt.
  • Melanthium latifolium Desr.
  • Melanthium latifolium Desr.
  • Melanthium racemosum Michx.
  • Melanthium racemosum Michx.

Family

Melanthiaceae

Genus

Veratrum

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Veratrum latifolium (Desr.) W.B. Zomlefer NC

slender bunch-flower. Melanthium hybridum Walt.; M. latifolium Desr.; M. racemosum Michx. 
• CT. Mesic to dry-mesic, often rocky, forest slopes.