Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for American Lovage - Ligusticum canadense   (L.) Britton
Members of Apiaceae:
Only member of Ligusticum in NC.
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Section 6 » Order Apiales » Family Apiaceae
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Author(L.) Britton
DistributionThroughout the Mountains and Piedmont, and extending into the upper Coastal Plain only along a few brownwater river floodplains.

This species has a fairly small range, ranging from PA and MO south to central GA and AR.
AbundanceCommon in the Mountains, and fairly common to common in the Piedmont. Rare and local into the upper Coastal Plain along a few rivers such as the Cape Fear.
HabitatThis is a shade-loving species of moist to mesic hardwood forests, including bottomlands and rich slopes.
PhenologyBlooms in June and July, and fruits from August to September.
IdentificationThis is a familiar umbel of mesic to rich hardwood forests and small openings, one of the few in the family that grows inside rich forests. It has a stout stem, and grows to about 3' tall, being freely branched. The alternate stem leaves are bipinnately or tripinnately divided, with the leaf segments ovate in shape with some serrations on the margins. The leaflet texture is thin (as opposed to thick in Angelica racemosa); the average leaflet is 2-3" long and about 1" wide, with a rounded to truncate base -- which characteristically is not toothed. Though the leaves are divided several times, the leaf with its many leaflets is not cut into lacy, fern-like segments. The umbel at the end of the stem is usually consisting of 3-4 smaller umbels on terminal branches, with many small umbellets and tiny white flowers. Normally, biologists can identify the species just from its leaflets, as they are ovate and not finely dissected, though there are serrated margins except for the untoothed base. Thankfully, they get much practice, as this is not a scarce species.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Canadian Licorice-root
State RankS5
Global RankG4 [G5]
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