Clintonia borealis (Bluebead)
|Also known as:||Yellow Bluebead Lily, Yellow Clintonia, Corn Lily|
|Habitat:||part shade, shade; moist woods, swamps|
|Bloom season:||May - June|
|Plant height:||6 to 16 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FAC MW: FAC NCNE: FAC|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are in groups of 2 to 6 at the end of a long naked stem that sprouts from the base of the plant. Individual flowers are up to 1 inch long and a typical lily bell shape, 6 tepals (petals) that flare out, 6 long stamens with yellow tips and a long straight style. The color is yellow to yellowish green. The flowers tend to nod down. Each plant has a single stem of flowers.
There are 2 to 4 leaves around the base of the plant, each up to 8 inches long and 3 inches wide with a pointed tip and tapering at the base. There is a distinct central vein and faint parallel veins. The surface is glossy.
Bluebead grows in clumps and can form large colonies. A pretty common species, it's hard to avoid coming across it in just about any moist woods, bog or swamp north of the Metro. Formerly in the Liliaceae (Lily) family, Clintonia has been reassigned to the Colchicaceae (Autumn-crocus) family.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Vadnais/Snail Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County, and in Anoka County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?