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© √Čtienne Lacroix-Carignan

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collage of Canadian Blacksnakeroot and Clustered Blacksnakeroot

Canadian Blacksnakeroot (Sanicula canadensis) vs. Clustered Blacksnakeroot (Sanicula odorata)

Updated May 9th, 2022

The various Sanicula sp. are notoriously hard to identify. These two can sometimes be distinguished by whether they have 5 true leaflets or just an appearance of such. They are more reliably distinguished by differences in flower color and structure. Both species are common in much of their range and can be found in a variety of habitats, with much overlap; S. odorata ranges slightly farther into sunnier, more disturbed habitats, whereas S. canadensis is, on average, found in shadier habitats with more organic matter in the soil, and is more tolerant of sandy and acidic soils.

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