May Virtual Wildflower Tour

While we’re all staying home and not doing group outings, Annette Seidenglanz will be taking us on a virtual tour of wildflowers (and other plants to be found in Vermont). She’s provided us so many posts we’ve separated them by month.

There are a number of great resources to do research on native plants. Here are just a few:

For more information about taxonomy and plant families, including recent advances with DNA identification, here’s a good link: https://letstalkscience.ca/educational-resources/backgrounders/classification-life-linnaeus-dna-barcoding


May 31: Oxeye Daisy or Leucanthemum vulgare is native to Eurasia and was brought to North America. Leucanthemum is from the Ancient Greek words for white flower. It is a member of the Aster Family.

Aster family plants produce what is known as a false flower. That is that all the elements of this “flowering” have evolved and co-operate to create the impression of a single flower.

The Daisy, like other Asters, is a composite: it has white “ray florets” or one-petaled flowers radiating from the yellow center of the blossom “head.” There can be anywhere from 15 to 40 of these white florets on each head.

The yellow central disk has hundreds of tiny, yellow “disk florets.” You can also see a fractal spiral of unopened hexagonal florets that gradually decrease in size to the center of the disk!


May 30: Sheep’s Sorrel or Rumex acetosella is out right now giving a reddish haze to the hay fields. It’s a member of the Buckwheat Family. The female flowers give this plant its red color, thought the stem is red as well. The male flower is yellow-green. The fruit is also red.

It is the main food for the American Copper butterfly and ground feeding songbirds enjoy its seed. Rabbits and deer browse the greens. It may be used as a salad green with a tangy taste and also a curdling agent for cheese! But it can be a problem for farmers with grazing animals if they eat too much of it and it is a noxious weed for blueberry growers.

It is a transplanted perennial from Eurasia and it grows wild in the British Isles.

Caveat: don’t eat anything foraged unless you are fully acquainted with the conditions under which it has grown.


May 29: Black Medick, Nonesuch, Hop Clover or Medicago lupulina. Medick looks like a clover with three leaves and a round, yellow flower that colonizes wide areas in open fields. It is a naturalized plant from Eurasia.

The Latin name is broken down to Medick derived from the Ancient Greek word for Media, a place in Iran where it was believed to have originated. Lupulina from “wolf-like” from the likeness to Hop Clover or Willow-Wolf. The compact bloom does resemble the Hop cone – used in the brewing of beer.

The bloom is a dense round collection of up to 50 stalkless flowers.

Black Medick puffs up as it grows along the ground to become more shrubby in appearance. It is primarily an annual that grows from spreading root buds. If it manages to survive the winter it can develop a permanent root.
One of the benefits of this plant is that it hosts nitrogen-fixing bacteria. This plant helps to develop nitrogen in the soil, improving it. And Medick is a good source for honey.


May 28: Golden Alexanders or Zizia aurea is a native perennial common to Canada and the east and central United States. It is a member of the carrot family or Apiaceae.

The leaves are compound meaning that they are each made up of multiple leaflets of three to five. The leaflets have a fine-toothed edge.

Golden Alexanders bloom in late Spring with greenish-yellow flowers in small bunches making up an umbel or umbrella at the top of the main stem which is about two inches across. The flowers are scentless. It is a very beneficial plant since it is popular with just about every kind of pollinator! Though the plant can self-pollinate and the seed is very successful in propagation of the plant.

It prefers a moist habitat, though this one was growing in a sunny hillside, protected from the wind.


May 27: Solomon’s Seal or Polygonatum biflorum is a plant common to North America. It is native to Europe and Asia.

Solomon’s Seal grows in a single plume of alternating smooth leaves. Flowers appear dangling underneath the arc of the plume in a row along the stem at the juncture of each leaf. These become fruit as blue-green pea-like berries. Not to be confused with False Solomon’s Seal, a species which also grows in an arc but flowers in a raceme at the end of the plume.

The root rhizome is starchy and has been used as a food by First Nations people. Ginger root is a rhizome. The rhizome provides the energy – stored through the winter – for a plant to begin another plant in the Spring. The source of the name “solomon’s seal” is the shape of the scars on the rhizome. The seal is shaped like a six-pointed star in a circle.

The plant grows in the shade and it is a colonizing perennial. It is not invasive and spreads slowly making it an excellent garden planting. It may have a light fragrance.


May 26: Orange Hawkweed or Pilosella aurantiaca or … fox-and-cubs (due to the color), devil’s paintbrush, grim-the-collier! This is a plant in the Aster/Daisy Family native to alpine areas in Europe. In some areas it is considered an invasive.

The orange flowers grow atop bare stems from a rosette of leaves and may be up to two feet high. Hawkweed blooms in the Summer and is a benefit to all pollinators. Bees cannot see orange but the ultraviolet qualities of the plant make it apparent to them. It is a popular plant with bees, butterflies and flies. Seeds are windborne propagators and Hawkweed plants travel the seeds on parachutes like the Dandelion.

The naming of plants continues to fascinate. Grim-the-Collier of Croydon is the name of a 17th century Elizabethan play. However, there is also a folk melody called Tom the Collier which links him to the devil after he “sold his coals.” How all this became the name of a plant? Perhaps the color of the flower looks like a hot coal. And what else would a devil use for a paintbrush than a hot coal…


May 25: Herb Robert is another Geranium and not a native of North America. It has many unusual names: Red Robin, Death Come Quickly, Stork’s Bill, Fox Geranium, Squinter-pip, Stinking Bob, and Crow’s Foot.

It has distinctive, multi-part, triangular leaves with many lobes along the edges. Leaves may smell acrid when crushed due to the tannins in the plant – hence the name Stinking Bob. Stems can be reddish and the leaves turn red in the Fall. Flowers are tiny, five-petaled and pink with deeper pink pollen guides. They may also be white. It will flower from Springtime to late Summer.

The plant has had many uses in folk medicine and with First Nations people. The name Robert became associated with the plant from the 11th century herbalist Abbot Robert of Molesme, in the Champagne Region of France. The abbot was a founder of the Cisterian Order and is considered a saint to Roman Catholics.

Herb Robert is another Geranium and not a native of North America. It has many unusual names: Red Robin, Death Come Quickly, Stork’s Bill, Fox Geranium, Squinter-pip, Stinking Bob, and Crow’s Foot.

It has distinctive, multi-part, triangular leaves with many lobes along the edges. Leaves may smell acrid when crushed due to the tannins in the plant – hence the name Stinking Bob. Stems can be reddish and the leaves turn red in the Fall. Flowers are tiny, five-petaled and pink with deeper pink pollen guides. They may also be white. It will flower from Springtime to late Summer.

The plant has had many uses in folk medicine and with First Nations people. The name Robert became associated with the plant from the 11th century herbalist Abbot Robert of Molesme, in the Champagne Region of France. The abbot was a founder of the Cisterian Order and is considered a saint to Roman Catholics.


May 24: Ribes americanum or American Black Current is a native, deciduous shrub that can grow into thickets like other berries. It has several comfortable areas in which it thrives. It can grow up to six feet tall. This tiny plant was growing with a few others in a shaded grove near water. It has no spines.

The flower looks like a peeled banana with five pale green sepals (the peel) and the petals forming a small cylinder containing the reproductive parts. This low-growing shrub creates a raceme or flower group of up to 15 blooms. These will turn into round, black berries with seed. Black currents are edible and can be used dried or fresh in baking and fruit preserving…high in vitamins and anti-oxidants.

The berries are a favorite food for birds and small animals who spread the seed. And deer browse the leaves. Several types of bees collect nectar and pollen from the flowers.

The plant family is Grossulariaceae or Gooseberry and is recognized by its lobed, palmate leaves. Grossularia indicates “many” in number.


May 23: Wild Geranium or Geranium maculatum is a perennial native to our Northeastern woodlands but it’s also known as Old Maid’s Nightcap and Alum Bloom or Alum Root due to its astringent properties.

This is another spring plant with five floppy petals and ten stamens which are visible in the photograph. In the center is the yellow-green pistil which will develop into fruit with seeds. The leaves at the base of the stems are opposite and deeply cleft creating 5 lobes and the upper ones are smaller with 3 lobes.

These were growing in dappled light in a shaded woodland in a small colony. It is a favorite of all types of bees, butterflies, bugs and moths. Chipmunks like the seeds.

Like many native plants there are traditional medicines made from this plant that were used by tribes in the area where it was commonly found.

The name Geranium is from the Greek word for “crane” or geranos which refers to the shape of the seed capsule which resembles the neck of a crane when fully grown.


May 22: Canada Violet or Viola canadensis is one of the tall Violet species. Violets generally grow in two major types: the tall stemmed types and the ones that grow in bunches on the ground like the Common Blue Violets in the photo.

The Canada Violet has flowers that are multi-colored. They are pale purple on back and white in the front with a yellow center. The radiating purple stripes provide nectar guides for pollinators. Petals are irregularly-shaped, with “bearded” petals on either side. The leaves are cordate or heart-shaped with a rough, irregular edge and a long “tail.”

This species is listed in some states as endangered – such as Maine. These were found in a couple of small colonies trailside here in Vermont in a wooded area which was well-drained and sunny but with plenty of leaves creating rich soil.

One of the marvels of this species of violet is that it has a secondary reproductive scheme. It produces a low lying flower that never opens but contains all the genetic material necessary to produce offspring – in case pollination is unsuccessful.


May 21: White Trillium Grandiflorum really do turn pink! (see the April 3 post for more on trillium).


May 20: Flowering Rush or Grass Rush is a unique member of the genus Butomus in the Butomaceae Family called Butomus umbellatus. It is an invasive species.

Flowering Rush is a reed-like plant thriving in wetlands. It can grow up to four feet in shallow water and also can live in deeper water – though it produces no flowers. Leaves are long and narrow like grasses. These plants were found in a wetland near Lake Champlain.

Called “Umbellatus” due to the umbel or umbrella form of the flower array at the top of the narrow, tube-like stem called a scape. Flowers are pink with three petals and three sepals. Flower buds can drop from the umbel and create new plants. Also, the roots can detach small bulbs and float to a new location and grow. In our area, they can also reproduce with seed.

This plant is a species from the Old World Palearctic Realm. This zone is one of the eight biogeographic realms of the Earth described in the 1800s by the zoologist Philip Schlater and it is the largest which includes all Eurasia north of the Himalayas and North Africa.

For more on this subject:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wikiBiogeographic_realm


May 19: Garlic Mustard is now fully-grown like its cousin, Bitter Wintercress – also in the Mustard Family. Its Latin name Alliaria petiolata breaks down to “allium” or garlic and petiolata meaning having a long leaf stalk. It is not a native and has been considered an invasive species.

In the first year, this biennial produces round leaves in a rosette that smell like garlic when crushed. The rosette may overwinter through the cold months. The following year the plants flower with bunches of tiny, cross-shaped, white blossoms that bloom on the top of the stem and leaves are more triangular and toothed with deep veins.

This plant is very adaptable and produces many seeds. Originally from Eurasia, it has spread to Australian, North Africa and also to North America and Argentina. It first appeared in North America in the 1860s in New York. Because of its value as a food and medicine, it was probably imported by colonists. It has been found in gourmet recipes such as pesto and as a salad herb. All parts of the plant are edible and nutritious, including the seeds. It has been used in folk medicines, as well.

Caveat: It is important to recognize that to forage edible plants without knowing the history of the environment where they are growing, can be dangerous. Instead, watch for it in local produce markets with other “wild edible” greens like dandelion leaves.


May 18: Broad-leafed Helleborine is a type of orchid that grows on the ground in shady woods. It is not a native but naturalized here and it is commonly referred to as a “weed orchid.” This one was growing in the shade close to the path near the Sunset Ridge Trail in late Summer.

The pink/purple flowers grow on a spike. It is possible this is a variety called “purpurea” which is a less common plant. The leaves are lance-shaped and curl around where they join the stem.

Helleborine is often found near to human habitation, car parks and even large urban areas. It has been suggested that truffles may be found where it grows. It does have a symbiotic relationship with some types of root fungus which are needed for it to grow. This enables the plant to have less chlorophyll. It is pollinated by wasps.

Terrestrial orchids have about 70 species in their genus, Epipactus.


May 17: Still finding early Spring plants like this Wood Anemone! It is native to North America though it is a sub-species of the European species. It is a member of the Buttercup Family.

The leaves grow in groups of three, though there is a deep cleft in the outer two, which may be mistaken for additional leaves. Stem and leaves are hairy. The plant produces a single flower which may be white or pink. It may take years for the plant to produce a flower so many leaves may be present without them.

These plants were spread out in a well-defined colony. They grow from rhizomes or interconnecting tubers which is why you will find them in groups on the forest floor. The seeds are not usually viable.


May 16: Smooth or White Turtlehead is one of our Northeastern natives. It likes wetlands and swamps. This one was discovered growing beside a stream in Underhill State Park late, last Summer.

Chelone glabra: Chelone is Greek for “turtle” and glabra, the species name from Latin, means smooth or hairless.

Turtlehead is a plant with an interesting naming or taxonomic history. It was assigned to several families before DNA testing placed it in its current one: the Plantago or Plantain Family. DNA testing has shaken up many plant families and re-assigned plants that were previously identified by traditional means.

The flowers grow at the end of a tall stem and are white but often tipped with a light pink color. They attract butterflies and hummingbirds – and deer. Leaves are opposite and blade-shaped with small teeth along their edges.


May 15: The Spring ephemerals are still opening every day despite the recent snowy weather. Largeflower Bellwort is now blooming abundantly in open moist areas. This Uvularia grandiflora is another native plant to the Northeast woodlands.

The drooping flower heads and limp-looking, curled leaves are a characteristic of this perennial even when it is completely healthy. The mostly-bare stem appears to grow through the leaves, dividing into a “V” before the flowering stems appear. The pale yellow petals and sepals are long and twisted. Several types of bees are the pollinators of this plant and deer browse them, as well. Ants disperse the seeds.

Colchicaceae Family to which it belongs indicates the presence of colchicine which is used as a treatment for various medical ailments. It is also known as the Meadow Saffron Family. It was originally classified as a Lily.


May 14: This Common Selfheal or Prunella vulgaris plant was found trailside at Trapp Lodge. Also known as Heart of the Earth, Woundwort, Carpenter’s Herb, Hock-heal and Heal-All. As the names suggests, it has been much valued in folk medicine – especially Chinese herbal cures. Its Chinese name is: Hsia-ku-ts’ao.

It grows in a tall spike – up to 3 feet high. It has a square stem with long, oval-shaped, opposing leaf pairs. The two-petaled flowers appear from a supporting structure with “windows.” The bud is a deep purple. The flower’s top petal is pale purple and the bottom is white. It has no scent but has been used as a dye.

It is a member of the Mint Family and you will find it blooming in the middle of Summer.


May 13: False Solomon’s Seal is just opening up with the last of the ephemerals in the forest. It’s interesting to watch the plant open its leaves – which takes several days. The blade-shaped leaves are tightly wrapped together and unpeel, opening one after the other to create an arc of leaves on the stem like a plume. The process is revealed in the photographs.

Maianthemum racemosum is a plant native to all of North America. It is a member of the Asparagus Family and it is a perennial. The leaves appear in alternating places on the stem rather than opposite and the stem itself zig-zags at each leaf attachment. The flowers appears at the end of the leafed stem in a raceme or a bloom that has flowers on short stalks on the central stem.

Fruit appears where flowers were and are bright red when mature turning gold. And the plant’s leaves take on a rusty look in the late summer.

These plants were from a number of locations in Northern Vermont.


May 12: Bitter Wintercress is making an appearance in wild fields here in Vermont!

These plants grow phenomenally fast in the Spring and appear fully-grown before most plants have even gotten started. Wintercress only grows from seed and the plants usually are annuals but may also be biennial.

The general shape of the plant is like a cone with the larger leaves at the bottom in a rosette. The leaves are shiny, blue-green and lobed with a large lobe at the tip of the leaf and smaller less-lobed leaves near the top of the plant. Four-petaled flowers are in a clump at the top of the many thick stems and are bright yellow.

Barbarea vulgaris is from the genus Barbarea and the species “vulgaris” or common. Barbarea from St. Barbara who watched over those whose lives were risked in fiery explosions, like artillerymen and miners. The plant has been used as “mustard plaster” for wounds.

It has been useful due to its special resistance to insects in agriculture.


May 11: Purple Coneflower or Echinacea purpurea is a Northeastern native in the Sunflower/Aster Family. It is also herbaceous – meaning it has a stalk not a woody stem – and it is a perennial.

A Coneflower is a collective cluster of flowers. The dome or cone in the center contains tiny, yellow florets. The pink-purple petals and the orange, spiky parts of the cone are ALSO individual flowers – with a single petal. Blooms in the Aster Family appear to be a single large flower but we are actually seeing a flower head composed of many “ray florets” and miniature flowers!

These flower heads are pollinated with the help of butterflies and bees. And Coneflower provides food for birds!

The name Echinacea is used to describe a group or genus of flowering plants. Echinacea is from the Greek word for “sea urchin” which is ekhinos, perhaps due to the spiky cone. Purpurea is Latin for purple.


May 10: The Common Dandelion or Taraxacum officinale is so commonplace that we hardly see it anymore and yet it does an exceptional service to our bee, insect and and butterfly population. It is a member of the Aster Family. It’s everywhere there is dirt, and it flowers relentlessly in the springtime and throughout the summer.

Leaves grow from the base with deep lobes and are often sharply edged. The flowers emerge from the base on a single stalk – sometimes multiples.

Dandelion is valued in traditional medicine as a tea and food loaded with vitamins and minerals. The leaves are cultivated for salad and often available in produce markets. Packaged dried parts of the plant are available in health food stores. In fact, Dandelion was imported to North America from Europe as a food crop and naturalized.

The silver haired fruit disperses seed from a ball known as a “clock” in the fall. The clock provides a good lesson to children about the way plants work to disperse themselves.

We still embrace the folklore that the flying seed parachutes carry our wishes into the wind.


May 9: Virginia marsh St. Johnswort likes boggy, wet areas like this one along the Nebraska Notch trail. Along with Joe-Pye Weed, this sunny location favored many varieties of wetland plants. Marsh St. Johnswort is native to Central and Eastern United States and Canada.

Its leaves are opposite and sessile – meaning they haven’t any stem attachment to the plant stalk. And they have no teeth or lobes. The flowers of most St. John’s Wort are yellow (Hypericum) and this one is pink with a red interior halo (Triadenum). In the photo, the petals have already fallen as it is late in the season but the red, conical, clustered fruit is visible.

Its Latin name is Triadenum virginicum.


May 8: Jack-in-the-pulpit or Arisaema triphyllum has arrived! The plant unfolds three leaves and then flowers with a “spathe” or pulpit with a covering flap. The spathe has an intensely colorful, striped, purple and green interior. The black “Jack” within is called a “spadix” and is covered with tiny male and female flowers.

Jack-in-the-pulpit is a native to Eastern North America but can be found growing in parts of Texas. Like some flesh eating plants, it captures its pollinators which are small flies. The plant, though hermaphroditic, must be pollinated by another plant to survive and remain genetically healthy so the abundance of these gnats serves well in the procreation of the plant. Dark berries ripen in the fall and seed.

It is interesting to note that this species is actually composed of at least three separate plant types or subspecies: triphyllum, stewardsonii and pusillum. Our photograph is describing the most characteristic and common type.


May 7: The Marsh Marigolds are blooming stream side. This plant is also known as King Cup and it is a member of the Buttercup Family. It is an overwintering herbaceous succulent that keeps its buds in moist soil through the cold seasons before emerging in the Spring.

This plant has five “sepals” instead of flower petals. Instead, many pollenating stamen surround the carpels and seedbuds. From this, it develops the fruit containing small, black seeds. The sepals are yellow but also read an ultraviolet “bee’s purple” to attract pollinators. Leaves are heart-shaped and shiny like the flowers.

As usual, the names of this plant are many, amusing and sometimes ridiculous. Mari-gold evolved from Medieval European religious veneration of Mary celebrated with these flowers…so called Mary-gold. Caltha palustris is a composite of Greek and Latin: “caltha” or “kálathos” in Greek, meaning “goblet” and Latin “palustris” or “of the marsh.” And then there’s Brave Bassinets and Soldiers’ Buttons and Water Dragon.


May 6: Viper’s Bugloss, Blueweed or Echium vulgare is a species introduced to Northeastern America. It is “monocarpic” which means that it will flower, drop seed and then die.

The flowers begin as pink in color and over time shift to blue-ish purple. The photo shows the flowers in the process of change. Pollen is blue!

This plant is listed as a major source of nectar for honeybees. Viper’s Bugloss has several unique features. It protects the nectar inside the plant against heat and rain. It also continuously produces nectar whereas most plants produce it intermittently during the day. The season for nectar production lasts late into the year and so continues to be a source for bees into the fall. The amber-colored honey from this plant has a fragrant flavor.

Bugloss is from the Greek word “boúglōsson” meaning “ox-tongue.” Echium is a Latin word from “ekhis” meaning viper. There are several possible reasons for this name designation – none conclusive. Favorite: the extra long anthers look like a forked snake tongue!


May 5: Early Goldenrod or Solidago juncea is an early blooming, native, perennial herb and a member of the Aster Family. It can grow up to ten feet tall and can have as many as 400 tiny flowerets.

This one, photographed on the Burlington Bike Causeway last year, was growing in full sun on a rocky, sandy roadside in mid-Summer. The plant’s blooms are a dense, rich yellow. They appear on a single, leafed stem that ends in a plume of flowers. Goldenrod has large leaves at the base of the plant which get smaller up the stem.

Not to be confused with Ragweed which is often the cause of allergies in the Fall. The tiny flowers may have a slight fragrance.

You will often find it visited by butterflies, bees and moths. The seeds are favored by the Eastern Goldfinch and several types of Sparrows.


May 4: Did you know this is Wildflower Week? Every year on the first full week in May we can celebrate our spring ephemerals and anticipate the summer flowers soon to be on display.

It seemed appropriate to give a little time to our Vermont State Flower, Red Clover! It was designated our state flower in February, 1895.

Standing in a field of red clover on a sunny day can be a delightful experience when a breeze picks up the scent of the blooms and the faint buzzing of bumblebees are in the air.

Red clover or Trifolium pratense is a naturalized species that is originally from Europe. It is very important for the benefit of pollinators all over the world and can be used as a cover crop and food for grazing animals. The flowers can be harvested to be made into jelly and an herbal tea. The essential oil can be used in products for its sweet smell.


May 3: Sessileleaf Bellwort is a perennial native to eastern and central North America in the Lily Family. It is a woodland plant and its other names are: Straw Lily, Little Merrybells and Wild Oats.

Before blooming, the plant looks like sprouting grass – often seen growing among Trout Lily on the forest floor in the Spring. Bellwort is called sessile because the leaf is long and wraps around the stalk instead of hanging from it on a stem.

The drooping flowers are small, bell-like and cream-colored with a greenish tinge. Not all plants bloom since the species procreates underground with stolons or small bulbs – like other Lily Family plants – so it doesn’t need to seed to survive.

It has been used by the Ojibwa, Iroquois, and Cherokee people as a food and a medicine.


May 2: This pretty plant has quite a few names: Hoary Alyssum, False Hoary Madwort, Hoary Berteroa, Hoary Alison and the Latin names, Berteroa incana or Alyssum incanum.

  • “Hoary” gray or white.
  • “Madwort” a plant believed to cure canine madness.
  • “Alison” may be a common name derived from Alyssum.

This plant has two Latin names. Alyssum incanum is the basionym for Berteroa incana, meaning that it is the previous Latin name given to the plant and it provides a useful description of the plant.

  • “Berteroa” is a genus in the Brassicaceae (Mustard) family and it is named after the Italian botanist Carlo Bertero, b.1789.
  • “incana” is the species and refers to the downy, gray/white hairs that cover the plant which help it to retain water in the environment where it originated: the dry Russian steppes.
  • “Alyssum” is a genus in the Brassicaceae (Mustard) family identified by the clump of flowers that appear at the end of a leafed stem.
  • “incanum” is the species and defined like incana

Berteroa incana is an invasive species in North America and it was brought from eastern Eurasia via Finland. This particular plant was discovered last summer on the bike path in the New North End.


May 1: This is a Wild Cucumber vine that was discovered growing on a fence along the bike path last summer in a very sunny location. It is a North American native plant and has been known to First Nations people for a variety of uses, including as a headache remedy and a bitter tonic for stomach problems.

Echinocystis lobata is a member of the Gourd Family and is quite special: a “monotypic genus” which means that it is the only species in the genus. It gets its name from the round, green, prickly fruit which are about 1 1/2 inches long. Echino is Greek for “hedgehog” and kystis meaning “bladder” are both referring to the shape of the fruit. The fruit is inedible. It looks like a small striped watermelon with spines. The hull, after the four seeds have been dispersed is a pale, papery shell.

Male and female flowers are on the same plant. The male flowers are at the top of the stem and the few female flowers are below on a short stem – with the tiny seed case forming below.

The plant grows from an underground tuber that can weigh up to 100 pounds and the largest leaves on the vine are similar to Maple leaves.

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