Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Lachnanthes caroliniana (Lam.) Dandy
- Family: Bloodwort (Haemodoraceae)
- Flowering: July-September
- Field Marks: This species is characterized by its long, narrow, basal leaves, its white-woolly flower branches with dense clusters of yellow, 6-parted flowers, and its red rhizomes containing a red juice.
- Habitat: Wet sandy soil in bogs, swamps, ditches, pine flatwoods, and savannas.
- Habit: Perennial herb with a short rootstock and red, fibrous roots, which yield a red juice when
- Stems: Upright, unbranched, smooth near base, woolly-hairy above, up to 2 1/2 feet tall.
- Leaves: Long, narrow, pointed at the tip, hairy, the lower leaves shorter than the middle leaves,
up to 1/2 inch wide.
- Flowers: Numerous in round-topped panicles; branches of the panicle white-woolly; each flower
1/3-1/2 inch across.
- Perianth: 6-parted, yellow, united near the base, hairy on the outside, smooth on the inside,
pointed at the tip, with a small bract at the base.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Capsules spherical, about 1/4 inch in diameter, hairy, containing flat, orbicular seeds.
- Notes: This species also occurs in the West Indies. It is one of the few plants in North America
whose roots contain a red juice. This plant is an excellent food for surface-feeding ducks.
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