Time of bloom: June to August.
Seed-time: August to October.
Range: Massachusetts to Nebraska, southward to Florida and
Texas. Habitat: Shrubby upland pastures, thickets, open woods.
Sanicle is a shade lover and would hardly be included in this weed list were it not that its hooked and prickly carpels are so detrimental to the fleeces of sheep. The plant has bitter juices which protect it from their nibbling jaws and it is left to reproduce itself unharmed.
Stem rather stout, eighteen inches to three feet tall, erect, round, grooved, smooth, with forking, leafy branches. Leaves palmately compound, three- to five-parted, the segments narrowly obo-vate to lance-shaped, smooth, sharply and irregularly toothed, often cut-lobed; those at the base have long petioles but the stem leaves become smaller and nearly sessile as they near the top; involucral leaves small and lance-shaped. Flowers greenish white, with perfect and staminate flowers intermixed in small, compact, globular umbels, not much more than a half-inch broad. In this species the styles are shorter than the bristles on the carpels. These are in pairs, forming tiny, ovoid burs, bristling with prickly hooks, there being several of the burs in a cluster, ready at a touch from woolen garments or a sheep's fleece to "catch on for a ride." (Fig. 208.)
Fig. 208. - Sanicle (Sanicula canadensis). X 1/4.
S. marilandica, differing in that the styles are much longer than the bristles and recurved, is equally common and has a more extensive range from Newfoundland to Georgia and westward to the Rocky Mountains.
Prevent the formation of seed by close cutting or pulling when in first bloom.