Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Stiff Cowbane - Oxypolis rigidior   (L.) Rafinesque
Members of Apiaceae:
Members of Oxypolis with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Apiales » Family Apiaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
Author(L.) Rafinesque
DistributionThroughout the Mountains, but scattered across nearly all of the Piedmont; present in much of the Coastal Plain, though mostly absent in the northeastern portions.

This is a widespread Eastern species, mainly from PA and MN south to western FL and eastern TX.
AbundanceFairly common to frequent in the Mountains; infrequent to locally fairly common in the Piedmont, but mostly uncommon to infrequent in the southern and western Coastal Plain.
HabitatThis is a wetland species, growing in bogs, openings in swamps, wet thickets, streamsides, and other damp and usually partly shaded ground.
See also Habitat Account for General Herbaceous Peatlands
PhenologyBlooms from August to October, and fruits in October and November.
IdentificationThis is a rather robust herb, growing to about 3-4' tall. This species has only few alternate leaves, and unlike most others in the family, has just singly-pinnate leaves, with about 5-9 leaflets. Each leaflet is sessile, rather narrow and usually oblong to oblanceolate, about 4" long and 1" wide, with several quite sharp and distinct teeth at the distal end, but most of the basal 3/4th of the leaflet is entire and uncut. Note that these leaflets can be quite variable in shape, but almost all are narrow and toothed near the tip. The umbels at the end of the stem or branches are rather large, about 5-6" across, with 20 or more umbellets on long and often curved rays, with small white flowers. But, it is the distinctive once-divided leaves and narrow, sharp-tipped leaflets that identify the species, not the flowers.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Pig-potato
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpOBL link
USACE-empOBL link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Select a source
Select an occurrence type