Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - white snakeroot - Last of the season, sort of

It's November, and it's been a long season, early spring to late fall.  This is absolutely the last plant to flower in our gardens, white snakeroot, Actea (formerly Cimicifuga) simplex, the first flower opened on October 25th, although it has flowered as early September 21st.  Black snakeroot, A. racemosa, flowered in mid-June. Beware because other plants share this common name, so if buying this, check the name carefully.  The plant grows quite well in shade, as does the almost as late flowering monk's hood.  Actually another plant might flower still, but it's a witchhazel and they almost prefer winter; November flowering is not unusual for witchhazels.  Right now the white snakeroot has a dozen or so bright white inflorescences set off by a bed of sugar maple leaves. This is one of those flowers whose showy parts are largely stamen filaments, not uncommon in the buttercup family.

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