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White Colicroot (Aletris farinosa L.)

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A perennial plant native to eastern North America, with its common name referencing its historical medicinal use to treat colic. Endangered in much of its range, extirpated from some areas, but still locally common in other areas.

Range - Expand

Native or Not Present

This tentative map is based on our own research. It may have limited data on Canada and/or Mexico, and there is some subjectivity in our assignment of plants as introduced vs. expanded. Read more in this blog post.


Prefers moist soil, often preferring sandy or gravely, acidic soils.

Found in moist woodland clearings, mostly in bottomlands. This plant has declined greatly due to habitat destruction.


The root has been historically used as a tonic, sedative, and digestive aid, and as the name suggests, to treat colic. This plant was been collected from the wild and not usually cultivated, and as it has become endangered its use has mostly ceased.

Aletris farinosa (Colic Root) | Illinois Wildflowers (About This Site)

Aletris farinosa (White Colicroot) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Aletris farinosa | Go Botany (About This Site)

Aletris farinosa | Biota of North America Project (BONAP) (About This Site)

Aletris farinosa | NatureServe Explorer (About This Site)

Aletris farinosa | Flora of North America (About This Site)

White Colicroot | Maryland Biodiversity Project (About This Site)