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Osmorhiza Claytonii OR''

Osmorhiza Claytonii OR''

Osmorhiza Claytonii

Sweet Cicely and Aniseroot (Osmorhiza longistylis) are very similar and easily confused. Aniseroot has more flowers per umbellet (8 to 16), styles longer than the petals, has short-hairy or hairless stems, the leaves are less deeply divided, and the foliage has an anise fragrance when crushed. The hairiness of the stems is usually the most noticeable difference.Habitat: Bland Sweet Cicely has a thickened fibrous root system extending from a caudex. It grows in moist woods and wood edges in light shade or dappled sunlight. Foliage of some members of the Osmorhiza genus will produce an anise sent when crushed and the root has a strong anise scent. That scent is subdued or absent in Bland Sweet Cicely - thus the name. Seeds that fall from the plant at maturity have a quick germination rate, those that overwinter then need at least 3 months of cold stratification.

Osmorhiza

Names: The genus name, Osmorhiza, is derived from two Greek words, osme, meaning 'fragrance' and rhiza meaning 'root'. Together referring to the scented root of most species of this genus. The species name, claytonii, was an honorary named for the English born Virginia botanist John Clayton, (1694-1773) who lived in Williamsburg. Clayton sent plants to Europe, particularly to England and to Dutch naturalist Johann Friedrich Gronovius. Carl Linnaeus, working with Gronovius, published his first book Syetema Naturae, and included these plants in the book. Clayton then sent to Gronovius his catalog of Virginia plants, Gronovius proposed to Linnaeus to arrange it and publish it. This became Flora Virginica,1739-43, the first book on new world material using the Linnaean system of classification. Unfortunately, he did not tell Clayton and did not have his permission.

There are 3 other members of the Osmorhiza genus recognized as native and present in Minnesota: O. berteroi, Chilean sweet cicely; O. longistylis, Aniseroot; and O. depauperata, blunt-fruited sweet cicely. The first is endangered, the second is fairly common, and the last is of special concern.Habitat: Bland Sweet Cicely has a thickened fibrous root system extending from a caudex. It grows in moist woods and wood edges in light shade or dappled sunlight. Foliage of some members of the Osmorhiza genus will produce an anise sent when crushed and the root has a strong anise scent. That scent is subdued or absent in Bland Sweet Cicely - thus the name. Seeds that fall from the plant at maturity have a quick germination rate, those that overwinter then need at least 3 months of cold stratification. (Source: www.friendsofthewildflowergarden.org)

 

 

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