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Endodeca serpentaria (Linnaeus) Rafinesque. Turpentine-root, Virginia Snakeroot, Serpent Birthwort. Phen: May-Jun; Jun-Jul. Hab: Dry to mesic forests, perhaps more restricted to mesic situations over acidic substrate, ranging into drier situations over calcareous or mafic substrates. Dist: CT and NY west to IL, MI, and MO, south to c. peninsular FL and TX.

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Taxonomy Comments: If treated in the genus Isotrema, the correct spelling is I. serpentaria, as Linnaeus capitalized 'Serpentaria' as a noun (pre-Linnaean genus name) and used it as a noun in apposition.

Other Comments: The tremendous variation in this species needs further study. Plants with sparingly pubescent, thin-textured, linear to lanceolate leaves have been called Aristolochia hastata. Plants with broadly ovate, densely pubescent leaves have been called Aristolochia convolvulacea. Aristolochia nashii was based on plants from peninsular FL with very narrow leaves. These may represent merely morphologic extremes of a polymorphic complex; alternatively, some taxonomic recognition of such plants as distinct from E. serpentaria (in a narrow sense) may be warranted.

Synonymy: = Mi, NE, NY, Tn, Va; = Aristolochia serpentaria L. – Ar, C, Fl2, FNA3, G, GrPl, K3, Mo2, NcTx, Ok, Pa, RAB, Tat, W, WH3; = Isotrema serpentarium (L.) X.X.Zhu, S.Liao, & J.S.Ma – K4, Zhu et al (2019), orthographic error; > Aristolochia convolvulacea Small – S; > Aristolochia hastata Nutt. – S; > Aristolochia nashii Kearney; > Aristolochia serpentaria L. – S; > Aristolochia serpentaria L. var. hastata (Nutt.) Duch. – F, Tx; > Aristolochia serpentaria L. var. nashii (Kearney) Ahles; > Aristolochia serpentaria L. var. serpentaria – F, Tx; > Endodeca hastata (Nutt.) Raf. – Il; > Endodeca serpentaria (L.) Raf. – Il; > Endodeca serpentaria (L.) Raf. var. hastata (Raf.) C.F.Reed

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FACU
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: UPL
  • Great Plains: FACU
  • Midwest: UPL
  • Northcentral & Northeast: UPL

Heliophily: 3

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image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan M. Cressler | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan M. Cressler | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷


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