E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Glycyrrhiza lepidota Pursh
wild licorice (American licorice)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #68305)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Glycyrrhiza lepidota
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Perennial herb from extensive, deep, woody, aromatic, sweetish rhizomes; stems sticky with unstalked glands, erect, 0.3-1 m tall.
Alternate, odd-pinnately compound; leaflets 7 to 19, oblong-lanceolate, narrowed to abruptly pointed tip, 2-5 cm long, glandular-dotted; stipules lanceolate, membranous, 3-10 mm long, deciduous.
Inflorescence a dense, spike-like, stalked, erect, axillary raceme of numerous pea-like flowers, the raceme-stalks 2-7 cm long, shorter than the subtending leaves; corollas yellowish-white, 10-15 mm long; calyces 5-8 mm long, with stalked glands, the teeth awl-shaped.
Pods, oblong-ellipsoid, reddish-brown, 1-2 cm long, densely prickled with hooked bristles, bur-like, 1-chambered; seeds 2 to 5, large, 2-4 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist to wet fields, streambanks and open forests in the steppe and lower montane zones; rare in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; E to ON and S to MN, MT, MO, TX, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Glycyrrhiza lepidota

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 1170 1172 1175
Slope Gradient (%) 2 3 5
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
180 180 180
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 3 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: IDF(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Glycerrhiza lepidota var. lepidota
Glycyrrhiza glutinosa Nutt.
Glycyrrhiza lepidota var. glutinosa (Nutt.) S. Watson

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References