Aletris obovata

From Coastal Plain Plants Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Aletris obovata
Aletris obovata2 Gil.jpg
Photo was taken by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Order: Liliales
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Aletris
Species: A. obovata
Binomial name
Aletris obovata
ALET OBOV dist.jpg
Natural range of Aletris obovata from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: White colicroot; Southern colicroot

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: none[1]

Varieties: none[1]


A description of Aletris obovata is provided in The Flora of North America.

It is similar to A. lutea, however can be differentiated by having rounded flowers instead of tubular flowers and blooming later, between April and June.[2]


Orignally native to Europe, Aletris obovata escaped from cultivation[3] and is endemic to an area from southern South Carolina to peninsular Florida, but is primarily present in Florida.[4]



Habitats are moist areas and include longleaf pine/wiregrass flatwoods, moist slash pine/palmetto scrubs, sandy peat of grass-sedge bogs, open seepage slopes, and wet flats. Additionally, it can be found in disturbed areas such as along roadsides, ditches, and longleaf pine clearings. It usually grows in dry loamy or moist sands in high light.[5]

Associated species include Aletris lutea and hybrids; Lobelia, Andropogon, longleaf pine, slash pine, saw palmetto, Lachnocaulon anceps, Helianthus heterophylla, Polygala nana, Lobelia paludosa, Centella asiatica, Hypericum, and others.[5]


Aletris obovata has been observed to flower from spring to fall reaching peak inflorescence in April and May.[6][3] It has been observed fruiting from April through July.[5]

In areas of overlapping distribution, A. obovata will hybridize with A. lutea. Hybridization occurs in disturbed habitats where colonization and dispersal of hybrids was probably implemented by roadside maintenance.[7]

Fire ecology

It grows well in recently burned areas.[5]

Pollination and Insect Hosting

Aletris obovata has been observed to host bees such as Bombus pensylvanicus (family Apidae), skippers from the family Hesperiidae such as Wollengrenia otho, Nastra lherminier and Erynnis juvenalis, swallowtail butterflies such as Papilio marcellus (family Papilionidae), and bee-flies such as Bombylius mexicanus (family Bombyliidae).[7]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. [[1]]
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hall, David W. Illustrated Plants of Florida and the Coastal Plain: based on the collections of Leland and Lucy Baltzell. 1993. A Maupin House Book. Gainesville. 242. Print.
  4. Sorrie, B. A. and A. S. Weakley 2001. Coastal Plain valcular plant endemics: Phytogeographic patterns. Castanea 66: 50-82.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: R.K. Godfrey, Loran C. Anderson, J. B. Nelson, R. L. Scott, William Lindsey, R. Kral, H. Larry Stripling, George R. Cooley, Carroll E. Wood, Jr., Kenneth A. Wilson, M. Kral, Sidney McDaniel, Gwynn W. Ramsey, Richard Mitchell, P. L. Redfearn, Steve L. Orzell, Edwin L. Bridges, R. Komarek, and R. A. Norris. States and Counties: Florida: Union, Liberty, Wakulla, Hamilton, Citrus, Levy, Nassau, Franklin, Leon, Alachua, Taylor, and Madison. Georgia: Thomas.
  6. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 7 DEC 2016
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sullivan, V. I. (1973). "Biosystematics of Aletris Lutea Small, Aletris obovata Nash, and Natural Hybrids (Liliaceae)." Brittonia 25(3): 294-303.