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Bruso, George H.
Aletris farinosa L.
White colicroot, Colic root, Unicorn root
USDA Symbol: ALFA2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Low, yellow-green, grass-like leaves subtend colic rootís leafless flowering stalks which rise 2-3 1/2 ft. At the top of a sturdy, round stem is a spike-like cluster of small, white, urn-shaped flowers.
Until the 19th century the roots were collected and used medicinally to treat colic. In the South, Blunt-leaved Colic-root (A. obovata) has globose white flowers. Yellow Colic-root (A. aurea) has globose yellow flowers 1/4 (6 mm) wide. Flowers of this group resemble Ladiesí-Tresses (Spiranthes), members of the Orchid Family.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Complexity: Simple Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , WI , WV Canada: ON Native Distribution:
C. MA, s. Ont. & WI, s. to FL & TX Native Habitat:
Moist peaty, sandy or gravelly areas USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Moist to dry, sandy soil.
Conditions Comments: Aletris lutea, with yellow flowers, occurs in similar habitats and blooms from June to July.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Propagate by seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
- Hinton, WV
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
- Picayune, MSNatural Biodiversity
- Johnstown, PA
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2010-06-12
Research By: TWC Staff