Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Aletris aurea Walter
- Family: Lily (Liliaceae)
- Flowering: May-July
- Field Marks: Species of Aletris usually have all or most of their leaves at the base of the plant,
flowers in racemes, and 6 perianth parts united for at least half their length. The golden colic-root is the only Aletris with yellow flowers in which the perianth lobes are not spreading.
- Habitat: From moist to wet soils in pinelands, bogs, savannas, pocosins, and wet prairies.
- Habit: Perennial herb with short, thick rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, up to 3 feet tall, bearing flowers at the tip but usually without leaves.
- Leaves: Usually nearly all basal, oblanceolate to elliptic, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base,
without teeth, smooth, up to 3 inches long, up to nearly one inch wide.
- Flowers: Several in a raceme at the tip of each stem, each flower subtended by 2 small bracts.
- Perianth: 6-parted, united for more than 1/2 its length into a cylinder, golden-yellow, up to
1/2 inch long, the lobes triangular and not spreading.
- Stamens: 6, attached to the perianth, not exserted.
- Pistils: Ovary partly inferior; stigmas 3.
- Fruits: Capsules up to 1/3 inch long, swollen at the base, tapering above, with the perianth
persisting; seeds ovoid, shiny, reddish brown.
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