Black Snakeroot

Black Snakeroot
Black Snakeroot. Sanicula canadensis.
Apiaceae, the parsley, carrot, or umbel family.

Plant: Erect, branching plant 1'-4' high with palmately compound leaves and tiny white flowers emerging from a bur-like head. Perennial or biennial.
Flowers: Tiny, white, 1/12"-1/8" long, on short stalks from bur-like heads that grow in small clusters on stems of varying length that often emerge in groups of three from a terminal cluster of leaves. Technically the flower is an umbel, but does not look like classic example.
Leaves: Alternate, except at terminus where multiple flowering stems emerge, palmately compound, with three to five sharply toothed, ovate to wedge-shaped leaflets. The lateral leaflets are sometimes deeply lobed rather than fully separated.
Fruit: Small, ellipsoidal, 1/4", densely covered with hooked bristles; bur-like.
Blooming: May-July
Habitat: Open woods

Comments: One of several similar members of the genus Sanicula, all colloquially called Black Snakeroot. This one is probably S. canadensis sometimes called Canada Snakeroot or Canada Black Snakeroot to distinguish it. The deeply cleft lateral leaflets are a diagnostic feature.

Where to find it: Scattered through the upper woods of the park along the trail.