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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Bryan Kelly-McArthur     (Photo ID #68305)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Glycyrrhiza lepidota
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

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


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)
1172 1170 1175
Slope Gradient (%)
3 2 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
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in


Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Glycerrhiza lepidota var. lepidota
Glycyrrhiza glutinosa Nutt.
Glycyrrhiza lepidota var. glutinosa (Nutt.) S. Watson