Yellow Colic Root         White Colic Root
Aletris lutea - Small               A. farinosa - Linnaeus
Nartheciacea (Bog Asphodel) Family

Yellow Colic Root is an upright smooth perennial emerging from a rhizome. Preferred habitat is bogs, moist meadows and alluvial soils. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

The leaves are mostly basal; lance-like to oblong and tapering to the tip with sides less than equal. The leaf has no lobes and no teeth. Stem leaves are reduced as they graduate upward the stem.

Flowers are in a long raceme; tubular to bell shaped and slightly constricted below the apex. Calyx and corolla are united and yellow. Flowers occur in the spring.

Fruit is a capsule.

White Colic Root (also known as White Star Grass and Mealy Colic Root) is essentially the same as Yellow Colic Root; an upright smooth perennial which emerges from a rhizome. Preferred habitat is the same as the yellow variety; pinelands, savannas, open woods and bogs. Distribution is coastal.

Leaves are mostly basal; lance-like to oblong and tapers to the tip with sides less than equal. Upper leaves are reduced in size upward stem.

Flowers are white and presented in a long raceme; tubular to bell-shaped and constricted just below the apex. Calyx and corolla are united (fused). Flowering occurs in the spring.

Fruit is a capsule.

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Until the 19th century the roots of these plant were collected and used medicinally to treat colic in both humans and animals. Flowers of this group are often confused with the small Lady Tresses orchid, found in similar locations. A third variety found in the coastal region is Golden Colic Root, A aurea, which has a larger flower and fewer blossoms on the stem.

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