Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.
Search native plant database:
Bruso, George H.
Aletris farinosa L.
White colicroot, Colic root, Unicorn root
USDA Symbol: ALFA2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Low, yellow-green, grass-like leaves subtend colic rootís leafless flowering stalks which rise 2-3 1/2 ft. At the top of a sturdy, round stem is a spike-like cluster of small, white, urn-shaped flowers.
Until the 19th century the roots were collected and used medicinally to treat colic. In the South, Blunt-leaved Colic-root (A. obovata) has globose white flowers. Yellow Colic-root (A. aurea) has globose yellow flowers 1/4 (6 mm) wide. Flowers of this group resemble Ladiesí-Tresses (Spiranthes), members of the Orchid Family.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Complexity: Simple Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
, WV Canada: ON Native Distribution:
s. Ont. & WI,
s. to FL
& TX Native Habitat:
Moist peaty, sandy or gravelly areas
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Moist to dry, sandy soil.
Conditions Comments: Aletris lutea, with yellow flowers, occurs in similar habitats and blooms from June to July.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Propagate by seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
- Hinton, WV
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
- Picayune, MSNatural Biodiversity
- Johnstown, PA
Record Last Modified: 2010-06-12
Research By: TWC Staff