The Spikenard is very apt to attract one's attention in the autumn with its ripening clusters of dark purple or reddish brown berries. The large, thick, aromatic roots of this species have an odour and taste resembling that of the Wild Sarsaparilla, but are more spicy. The roots of these two plants are well known and have been used as a family remedy, chiefly in rheumatic and skin affections, much in the same manner and dose as genuine sarsaparilla. It grows from three to six feet high, and is widely branched. The stalk is round and blackish. The very large, compound leaf is slightly downy and has three distinct parts, each of which has several thin, broad, pointed-oval leaflets with doubly toothed margins, heart-shaped bases, and short stems. The numerous small, five-parted, greenish white flowers are loosely arranged in small, round clusters that form a large, curving terminal spike which sometimes starts from the angles of the leaf stems. It is found in rich, open woodlands, from New Brunswick to Georgia, and west to Minnesota and Missouri, during July and August.