Floerkea proserpinacoides Willd.
Family: Limnanthaceae
False Mermaidweed
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Paul Rothrock  
Plants (3-)5-30(-38) cm, herbage glabrous. Leaves: petiole 0.5-4 cm; rachis 2.5-5 mm; leaflets 3-7, 7-12 × 1-3.5 mm, apex obtuse or acute. Pedicels 0.5-2 cm (± equal to subtending petiole at anthesis, elongating 1.5 times by fruit maturity). Flowers: sepals green, 5-nerved, 2-6 mm; petals white, greenish white, or pale pink, oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic, 1.4-2 mm; filaments filiform, 1-1.5 mm; anthers yellowish, broadly ellipsoid, 0.2-0.3 mm. Mericarps green to brown, somewhat fleshy, 2-3.5 × 2-3 mm (often only 1 seed maturing per flower). 2n = 10. Flowering spring-early summer. Floodplain forests, swamps, wet-mesic coniferous or broadleaf woods, alpine meadows, pastures, moist areas in sagebrush or desert washes; 50-2600(-3200) m; B.C., N.S., Ont., Que.; Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., D.C., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., La., Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., Mont., Nev., N.J., N.Y., N.Dak., Ohio, Oreg., Pa., Tenn., Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo. The stems of Floerkea proserpinacoides have a spicy flavor and are eaten in salads. A flower of F. proserpinacoides is the logo for the Flora of North America project.

Annual herb 5 - 30 cm tall Stem: weak, decumbent to somewhat upright, hairless. Leaves: alternate, compound or deeply divided into three to seven segments 0.5 - 2 cm long, each segment linear to elliptic or inversely egg-shaped. Flowers: white, with three lance-egg-shaped sepals 2.5 - 6 mm long and three 1 - 2 mm long petals that are inversely egg-shaped. Fruit: separating into tiny, egg-shaped to spherical, warty segments (mericarps).

Similar species: No information at this time.

Flowering: late April to late May

Habitat and ecology: Common in sugar maple woods, often near springy creeks.

Occurence in the Chicago region: native

Etymology: Floerkea is named after the German botanist Heinrich Gustav Floerke (1764-1835). Proserpinacoides means "like Proserpinaca."

Author: The Morton Arboretum

Glabrous, weak, decumbent to suberect, 0.5-3 dm; lvs compound or deeply divided into 3-7 linear, oblanceolate or elliptic segments 0.5-2 cm; pedicels axillary, at first about equaling the petiole, much longer in fr; sep lance-ovate, 2.5-3 mm at anthesis, to 6 mm at maturity; pet oblanceolate, 1-2 mm; mericarps 2.5 mm, ovoid-globose, warty. Damp woods in rich soil; N.S. and w. Que. to B.C., s. to Del., Tenn., and Calif. Apr., May.

Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

©The New York Botanical Garden. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Locally abundant in thick woodland in rich, moist soil, usually associated with sugar maple, beech, white oak, and white elm. We have no records for the area south of Sullivan County. This little annual when removed from the woods to a rich, shady flower garden will persist as a weed.
Floerkea proserpinacoides image
Paul Rothrock  
Floerkea proserpinacoides image
Morton Arboretum  
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