General: Perennial herb from a thick, short rhizome covered with fibrous roots; stems erect, 40-120 cm tall, branched, sometimes bent at nodes (zigzag), smooth throughout or coarse-hairy on the lower third.
Leaves: Stem leaves several, egg-shaped to broadly lanceolate, 5-15 cm long, 2-6 cm wide, unstalked, tapering to a clasping base, glaucous beneath, the margins entire or minutely toothed; basal leaves lacking.
Flowers: Inflorescence of 1 or sometimes 2, stalked flowers drooping from leaf axils, the stalks 2-5 cm long, jointed and abruptly bent or kinked, smooth; flowers greenish-white to yellowish-green, bell-shaped, of 6 similar, distinct tepals, the tepals 8-14 mm long, oblong-lanceolate, concavely tapering to long, pointed, spreading or bent-back tips; stamens 6; pistil 1, 3-chambered.
Fruits: Berries, egg-shaped to cylindric-ellipsoid, yellow to red, often becoming dark purple, 10-18 mm long; seeds several to many.
Notes: Two varieties occur in BC:
1. Stems coarsely hairy below the first branches; leaves with tiny, irregularly spaced teeth; plants mostly from west of the Coast-Cascade Mountains................... var. amplexifolius
1. Stems smooth; leaf margins entire; plants mostly from east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains................... var. chalazatus Fassett
Moist forests, streambanks, thickets, avalanche tracks and clearings in the lowland and steppe to subalpine zones; common throughout BC; var. amplexifolius - circumboreal, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to NC, TN, MN, SD, NM, AZ and CA; Greenland, Eurasia; var. chalazatus - amphiberingian, N to AK, E to AB and S to SD, NM, UT, ID and OR; E Asia.
A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to subalpine, circumpolar forb (transcontinental in North America). Occurs on fresh to very moist, nitrogen-rich soils within boreal. temperate, and cool mesothermal climates. Occurrence increases with increasing latitude and precipitation. Sporadic to abundant in submontane to subalpine coniferous forests on water-receiving and water-collecting sites. Usually associated with Abies amabilis, A. lasiocarpa, Athyrium filix-femina, Gymnocarpium dryopteris, Oplopanax horridus, Ribes lacustre, Rubus parviflorus, R.spectabilis, Tiarella trifoliata, and T. unifoliata. A nitrophytic species characteristic of Moder and Mull humus forms.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2021-05-11 9:07:15 AM
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