Sanicula smallii

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Sanicula smallii
Sani smal.jpg
Photo by John R. Gwaltney, Southeastern
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae ⁄ Umbelliferae
Genus: Sanicula
Species: S. smallii
Binomial name
Sanicula smallii
E.P. Bicknell
SANI SMAL dist.jpg
Natural range of Sanicula smallii from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Small's blacksnakeroot, Southern sanicle, Small's sanicle

Taxonomic notes


"Plants perennial (or biennial?), glabrous or glabrescent, 2-8 dm tall, branched above, from fibrous or fleshy-fibrous roots. Leaves long-petiolate, suborbicular or reniform to widely ovate, 5-20 cm long or wide, palmately divided or cleft, the 3-5 segments elliptic-lanceolate to oblanceolate, coarsely and irregularly serrate, usually with evident hyaline margins, reduced and sessile above. Umbels simple, cymosely arranged and thus appearing compound, each cyme subtended by a pair of foliaceous, or reduced, bracts; involucre inconspicuous, bracts 4-8 deltoid to lanceolate 1-2 mm long. Flowers perfect or staminate, usually in the same umbel; petals yellow, white or greenish. Fruit uncinated-bristled, subglobose to ellipsoid or ovoid; mericarps slightly flattened dorsally, semicircular to subreniform in cross section; carpophore absent."[1]

"Leaves thick, somewhat fleshy and dark green, the white veins often prominent when fresh, segments usually 5, lance-elliptic to oblanceolate or obovate, 3-9 cm long, 1-5 cm wide, serrate-dentate. Peduncles 1-10 cm long. Each umbel of 3 sessile perfect flowers and 4-6 short-pedicellate staminate flowers; calyx lobes shorter than bristles, divergent; petals white or greenish; styles no longer than bristles or ovary or fruit. Fruit ovoid, 3-5 mm long, bristles not bulbous-based."[1]




In the Coastal Plain in Florida, S. smallii has been found in oak-hickory woodlands; loamy soil of steep, shaded ravines; a shell mound within an otherwise low floodplain; deciduous woodlands; mixed pine-hardwood forests; and rich calcareous slopes.[2]

Associated species include Arisaema, Conopholis, Toxicodendron, Diospyros virginiana, Berchemia, Carya, Sabal palmetto, Aesculus pavia, Amorpha fruticosa, Fagus, Magnolia, and Quercus.[2] Substrate types include loam, sandy humus, loamy soil, and shell mounds.[2]


S. smallii has been observed to flower from April to June and fruit in April and May.[2][3]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 767. Print.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: October 2015. Collectors:Loran C. Anderson, Patricia Elliot, R.K. Godfrey, H. Kurz, Richard S. Mitchell, Lovett Williams, Lovett Williams Jr. States and Counties: Florida: Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Walton. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  3. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 13 DEC 2016