American spikenard

(Aralia racemosa ssp. racemosa)

Conservation Status
American spikenard
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N4N5 - Apparently Secure to Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

American spikenard is a 24 to 84 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on an aerial stem from a stout, long-creeping rhizome.

The stems are erect to spreading and often branched. They are green to purple, hairy, and sometimes slightly woody at the base. They do not have spines and are not bristly at the base.

The leaves are alternate, widely spreading, and divided into 3 main segments. Each segment is further pinnately divided into 9 to 21 large leaflets. This results in a plant that appears very leafy though it has few leaves.

The leaflets are egg-shaped, ¾ to 7 long, and up to 5 or more wide. Leaflets of various sizes occur on the same leaf. The leaf blades are heart-shaped and asymmetrical at the base. They taper to a point at the tip with concave sides along the tip. The upper surface is green and covered with short hairs. The lower surface is paler green and is hairy along the veins when young, becoming hairless or almost hairless at maturity. The margins are toothed, sometimes doubly toothed, with sharp, forward pointing teeth.

The inflorescence is a branched array (panicle), up to 12 long and about 2½ wide, at the end of the stem, and sometimes smaller panicles rising from leaf axils. The panicle consists of numerous umbrella-shaped flower clusters (umbels). Each umbel has up to 10 or more flowers.

The flowers have 5 white or greenish-white petals and 5 stamens with white filaments and white anthers.

The fruit is a fleshy, dark purple, berry-like drupe.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

24 to 84

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White or greenish-white

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

 

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist. Woods. Full or partial shade.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

July

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 5, 7, 24.

 
  11/1/2013      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Superorder Asteranae  
 

Order

Apiales (Carrots, Ivies, and Allies)  
 

Family

Araliaceae (ginseng)  
  Subfamily Aralioideae  
  Tribe Aralieae  
 

Genus

Aralia (spikenard)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

American spikenard

life-of-man

petty morel

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Drupe

A fleshy fruit with a single hard, stone-like core, like a cherry or peach.

 

Panicle

A pyramidal inflorescence with a main stem and branches. Flowers on the lower, longer branches mature earlier than those on the shorter, upper ones.

 

Pinnate

Having the leaflets of a compound leaf arranged on opposite sides of a common stalk.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Umbel

A flat-topped or convex, umbrella-shaped cluster of flowers or buds arising from more or less a single point.

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Moira

 
 

Growing wild in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Leaf is quite ovate.

 
    American spikenard   American spikenard  
 

Luciearl

 
    American spikenard      
 

Ron Winterhalter

 
 

Amazed by its beauty. Found these growing in the woods of Northern Minnesota

 
    American spikenard      
           
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Plant

 
    American spikenard   American spikenard  
           
    American spikenard      
           
 

Inflorescence

 
    American spikenard   American spikenard  
           
    American spikenard      
           
 

Leaves

 
    American spikenard   American spikenard  
           

 

Camera

     
 
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slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  Aralia racemosa
newenglandwild
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 16, 2011

No description available.

 
  00011 American Spikenard, Purple Flowering Raspberry
rockerBOO
 
   
 
About

Published on May 29, 2013

American Spikenard, Purple Flowering Raspberry

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this plant.

 
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  Moira
8/12/2021

Location: Hennepin County, Minnesota

Growing wild in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Leaf is quite ovate.

American spikenard

 
  Luciearl
9/1/2020

Location: Cass County

American spikenard

 
  Ron Winterhalter
9/3/2019

Location: Cass County, MN

Amazed by its beauty. Found these growing in the woods of Northern Minnesota

American spikenard

 
           
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

Binoculars


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