This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Perennial or biennial mostly glabrous herbs, with alternate palmately 3-7-foliolate or pinnatifid leaves and small yellowish, white or purplish, perfect and staminate flowers in compound generally few-rayed umbels. Umbellets globose. Involucre few-leaved, folia-ceous; involucels small. Calyx-lobes membranous, mostly persistent. Petals obovate, or narrower, incurved at the apex, emarginate. Disk flat. Fruit somewhat flattened laterally, subglobose, covered with hooked bristles in our species. Carpels not ribbed; oil-tubes usually 5. [From the Latin, to heal.]
About 25 species, natives of the north temperate zone, South America and South Africa. Besides the following, about 14 others occur in the southern and western parts of the United States. Type species: Sanicula europaea L.
* Perennial; some staminate flowers in separate heads; styles longer than the bristles. Petals and anthers greenish white; calyx-segments lanceolate, cuspidate: fruit 3* long.
Petals and anthers yellow; calyx-lobes ovate, obtuse; fruit 1 1/2" long, or less.
** Biennial or perennial; staminate flowers never in separate heads; styles shorter than the bristles.
Leaves 3-5-divided; pedicels of staminate flowers 1" long; fruit less than 2" long
Leaves 3-foliolate: pedicels of staminate flowers 2" long; fruit 3" long, or more.
Sanicula marylandica L. Sp. Pl. 235. I753.
Rather stout, 1 1/2°-4° high, usually simple, topped by a 2-4-rayed umbel. Leaves firm, bluish green, the basal long-petioled, the upper sessile, 5-7-parfed; segments 1 1/2'-6' long, obovate to oblanceolate, irregularly serrate or dentate, often incised; involucral leaves much smaller, 3-cleft; involucel-bracts small, rarely 1" long; pedicels of staminate flowers 2" long; calyx 1" long, parted into subulate segments; petals greenish white, little exceeding the calyx; anthers greenish white; fruit sessile, ovoid, 3" long, the slender recurved styles longer than the stout bristles; oil-tubes 5, large; seed furrowed dorsally.
S". gregaria Bicknell, Bull. Torr. Club 22: 354. 1895.
Stems erect, weak, usually clustered, 1°-3° high, umbellate-branched, the branches slender. Leaves thin, bright green, 5-dividted; segments stalked, obovate-cuneate to lanceolate, acute or acuminate, doubly serrate with bristle-tipped teeth, sharply incised, mostly less than 3' long; basal leaves numerous, those of the stem only 1-2, petioled; involucral leaves large, 3-parted, those of the involucre foliaceous; pedicels of staminate flowers 1"-1 1/2" long, 3 or 4 times the length of the minute campanulate calyx; calyx-lobes ovate, obtuse; petals yellowish, much surpassing the calyx; anthers bright yellow; fruit stipitate, broadly obovoid, 1 1/2-2" long, the slender styles recurved; bristles weak, very small; oil-tubes 5, small; seed not furrowed.
In moist woods and thickets, New Brunswick and Ontario to Minnesota, Georgia, Nebraska and Arkansas. May-June.