Inclusion in Plant ID / Comparison Guides

This photo is featured in 2 plant ID/comparison guides:

collage of Maryland Sanicle and Clustered Blacksnakeroot

Maryland Sanicle (Sanicula marilandica) vs. Clustered Blacksnakeroot (Sanicula odorata)

Updated May 31st, 2022

These species have a large area of range overlap and are easily confused because both usually have 5 leaflets, and both have relatively showier, globe-shaped inflorescences with more numerous staminate flowers on longer pedicels, making them look similar to each other and less similar to the other two common Sanicula in the east. They can usually be distinguished the shape of the two leaflets close to the base of each leaf on basal leaves, and also by flower color and whether seeds are sessile. S. odorata ranges into sunnier, more disturbed habitats, is more likely to occur in large colonies, and ranges farther west in the southern states, whereas S. marilandica has a greater preference for slopes and high pH soils, and ranges farther north, and farther west in the north of its range.

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collage of Canadian Blacksnakeroot and Maryland Sanicle

Canadian Blacksnakeroot (Sanicula canadensis) vs. Maryland Sanicle (Sanicula marilandica)

Updated May 6th, 2022

The members of the Sanicula genus are notoriously hard to distinguish. These two species have overlapping fruit sizes, and significant overlap in habitat, but are usually identifiable at a glance by the shape of their basal leaves and the structure of their inflorescence. It is harder to see but there is also a difference in whether or not the fruits are sessile. S. canadensis becomes more common and widespread farther south and prefers soils richer in organic matter, whereas S. marilandica prefers sloped terrain and rockier soils, especially limestone, and becomes more common farther north.

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