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Plant Description


Streptopus lanceolatus (Aiton) Reveal

En: rose twistedstalk, rose mandarin, sessileleaf twistedstalk
Fr: rognons de coq, streptope rose
Oj: biimiskon-ozimiiwaabigwan, agwingosibag, agongosibag

Colchicaceae (Autumn crocus Family)

Click on thumbnail to see larger image.
Streptopus lanceolatushab Streptopus lanceolatusflpl Streptopus lanceolatuslvs Streptopus lanceolatusflw Streptopus lanceolatusill


General: A perennial forb, usually 2.5-6 dm tall when flowering, growing from a slender rhizome. The erect stem is hairy and often branches 1 or 2 times in older plants.

Synonymy: Streptopus lanceolatus was previously known as Streptopus roseus Michx., a name published later. The genus Streptopus was originally placed in the Lily Family, but is now included in the Autumn Crocus Family (Colchicaceae), along with the bellworts (Uvularia), autumn crocus (Colchicum), and fairybells (Prosartes).

Leaves: Alternate, simple, with prominent, parallel veins, sessile. Leaf blades lanceolate to elliptic, 5-10 cm long; upper and lower surfaces smooth (glabrous); leaf bases rounded; apex pointed to sharply pointed (acute to acuminate); margins ciliate.

Flowers: Bisexual (perfect), solitary, axillary, bell-shaped (campanulate), drooping. Sepals and petals alike (tepals), 6, pale pink to rose, greenish near the base, narrowly oblong, reflexed only at the tip, spotted with deep reddish-purple on the inner surface, tepals 6-10 mm long; stamens 6; pistil 1, with a superior ovary. The 1-2 cm pedicel of each flower is twisted, with a 90 bend at or below the middle.

Fruit: A fleshy, spherical, red berry, about 1 cm in diameter.

Habitat and Range: Rich, moist coniferous and deciduous forests; Streptopus amplexifolius is native to the north-temperate/southern boreal region of eastern North America, with a smaller, disjunct distribution in western North America. In Ontario, its range extends across the southern half of northern Ontario, as well as all of southern and eastern Ontario.

Internet Images: Streptopus lanceloatus from the Gallery of Connecticut Wildflowers, a website of the Connecticut Botanical Society.

Similar Species: The white mandarin or claspingleaf twisted stalk, Streptopus amplexifolius (L.) DC., can be differentiated from Streptopus lanceolatus by its clasping, nearly perfoliate leaves, which are glaucous beneath and have entire (not ciliate) margins, its white flowers, 3-5 cm pedicels, which are bent near the flower (well above the middle), and the red orange to scarlet ovoid berry. The white mandarin webpage is from Vanderbilt University's Bioimages website.

Compare also Streptopus lanceolatus to the Streptopus amplexifolius webpage from the Montana Plant Life website.

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