Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Glycyrrhiza lepidota Pursh
- Family: Pea (Leguminosoe)
- Flowering: May-August
- Field Marks: This member of the pea family has 11-19 toothless leaflets, a spike of yellowish white flowers, and pods covered with hooked prickles.
- Habitat: Low ground, particularly in disturbed areas.
- Habit: Perennial herb with thick, licorice-scented roots.
- Stems: Upright, branched, usually somewhat sticky-hairy, less commonly smooth, up to
3 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound with 11-19 leaflets, the leaflets lanceolate to
oblong, up to 1 1/2 inches long, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, without teeth,
smooth or minutely hairy; stipules linear-lanceolate, 1/6-1/4 inch long.
- Flowers: Many in a spike, the spike oblongoid, up to 2 1/2 inches long, shorter than the leaves.
- Sepals: 5, green, attached to each other, the upper 2 shorter than the lowest 3, up to 1/4 inch long, glandular.
- Petals: 5, arranged in the form of a sweetpea flower, yellowish white, 1/3-1/2 inch long.
- Stamens: 10.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Pods oblongoid, 1/2-3/4 inch long, covered with short hooked prickles; seeds flat, brown, up to 1/8 inch long.
- Notes: The prickly pods resemble the fruit of a cocklebur. They become entangled in the fur of mammals and are dispersed in that manner.
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