Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Saururus cernuus L.
- Family: Lizard's Tail (Saururaceae)
- Flowering: May-September
- Field Marks: This species is recognized by its heart-shaped, drooping leaves, zigzag stems,
colorful, nodding, curved flowering spikes that lack petals.
- Habitat: Margins of marshes, swamps, wet riparian woods, shallow streams, bayous.
- Habit: Perennial herb with slender rootstocks.
- Stems: Upright, zigzag, slightly hairy or smooth, branched or unbranched, up to 5 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, ovate, pointed at the tip, heart-shaped at the base, usually smooth,
toothless, palmately veined, up to 6 inches long, up to 3 inches wide, on stalks that are lax and
- Flowers: Crowded into slender, curved, nodding spikes up to 6 inches long, fragrant.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 6-8, white, about 1/6 inch long.
- Pistils: 3-4, united at the base.
- Fruits: Somewhat fleshy, 1/8-1/6 inch in diameter, wrinkled.
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