Scoliopus bigelovii Torr.
Brownies, California Fetid Adderstongue, Slink Pod
Liliaceae (Lily Family)
USDA Symbol: SCBI
A neat woodland lily with two, broad, purple-mottled basal leaves and one to four leafless flowering stems. Both the leaves and flowering stems are 4-8 in. long. Each flowering stem bears a single, small, greenish flower with mottled and veined outer sepals and inner, wiry petals. The flowers have a carrion-like odor. After flowering, the erect stems begins to bend to the ground. By maturity, the capsule is laying on the ground and simply decays, releasing its seed. A peculiar little plant with 3-12 leafless, 3-sided stalks, each topped by 1 dull reddish-brown and green flower, growing between 2 basal leaves mottled with maroon patches.
The genus name, from the Greek skolios (crooked) and pous (foot), as well as the common names Slink Lily and Slink Pod, refer to the way the flower stalk bends and sprawls on the ground as the pod matures. The flowers have an unpleasant odor (hence the common name Fetid Adders-tongue), which is what probably attracts flies as pollinators. The smaller Halls Fetid Adders-tongue (S. hallii) grows in western Oregon. Another common name for S. bigelovii is Brownies.
From the Image Gallery
No images of this plant
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Size Class: 0-1 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar
Native Distribution: Humboldt to Santa Cruz Cos., CA
Native Habitat: Moist, shaded slopes below 1500 ft.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, rich soil.
Conditions Comments: Needs protection from slugs.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Scoliopus bigelovii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Scoliopus bigelovii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Scoliopus bigelovii
MetadataRecord Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff