Melanthium woodii

(Robbins ex Alph. Wood) Bodkin

Novon 8: 332. 1998.

Common names: Ozark bunch-flower Wood’s bunch-flower
Basionym: Veratrum woodii Robbins ex Alph. Wood Class-book Bot. ed. 2, 557. 1847
Synonyms: Veratrum intermedium Chapman
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 79. Mentioned on page 77, 78.

Rhizomes 1.5–2 × 0.5–1 cm; bulbs 1–1.6 cm. Stems 1/2–2/3 floriferous, 0.7–1.5(–2) m. Leaf blades elliptic to oblanceolate, 20–50 × 3–10 cm, apex acute. Inflorescences 3–6 dm; terminal raceme 1–4 dm; secondary racemes spreading to ascending, 0.6–1.2(–2.2) dm; tertiary racemes rare; bracts lanceolate to subulate, brownish green, 2–6(–9) mm, floccose abaxially, proximally, and marginally. Tepals purplish maroon to chocolate brown adaxially, green abaxially, aging to dark green, obovate-oblanceolate, 5–10 × 1.8–4 mm, base gradually attenuate, not clawed, margins entire, apex obtuse; glands dark purple to nearly black, obcuneate, not nectariferous; stamens 4.5–6.5 mm; filaments adnate to tepal bases, 0.3 mm from ovary base, dilated basally, 1/2 or more as wide as tepals at insertion point; anthers 0.7 mm; ovary conic-ovoid, finely tomentose, becoming glabrate; styles 1.6–4 mm; pedicel spreading to ascending, 2–11 mm. Capsules elliptic-oblong, 18–25 × 10–15 mm, sparsely pubescent. Seeds 8–13 × 4–6 mm (including wings). 2n = 16.

Phenology: Flowering summer.
Habitat: Rich, moist, deciduous forests
Elevation: 10–800 m


V26 68-distribution-map.jpg

Ark., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., Mo., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Tenn.


The purplish maroon to chocolate-brown tepals and the tomentose young ovaries are distinguishing characteristics of Melanthium woodii. In parts of Illinois and the Ozark regions of Missouri and Arkansas, this species sometimes is locally common, but often in the leafy sterile condition. Flowering is sporadic and appears to be promoted by fire (J. E. Ebinger 1993).

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Melanthium woodii"
Norlyn L. Bodkin +  and Frederick H. Utech +
(Robbins ex Alph. Wood) Bodkin +
Veratrum woodii +
Ozark bunch-flower +  and Wood’s bunch-flower +
Ark. +, Fla. +, Ga. +, Ill. +, Ind. +, Iowa +, Ky. +, Mo. +, N.C. +, Ohio +, Okla. +  and Tenn. +
10–800 m +
Rich, moist, deciduous forests +
Flowering summer. +
Veratrum intermedium +
Melanthium woodii +
Melanthium +
species +