SANICLE

Sanicula europaea

Carrot Family [Apiaceae]  

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZclustered
stem
stem8round

14th May 2011, under Whitbarrow, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
A lowish plant, up to 50cm high, growing singly under the canopy of deciduous woodland in limestone/chalk areas.


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Carnforth, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Basking in dappled sunshine in a deciduous woods. An atypical Umbellifer.


10th June 2009, Smardale, Yorkshire Dales. Photo: © RWD
Tiny clustered flower-heads have a fuzzy foamy appearance and are widely separated.


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Carnforth, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Before the stamens emerge the flowers lack the fuzzy appearance. Upper leaves are few and far between, being mostly narrow.


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Carnforth, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The flowers have five petals, which look like they are each rolled up like like miniature newspapers.


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Carnforth, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
From below it is seen that the flower-heads are hemi-spherical.


14th May 2011, under Whitbarrow, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The stamens at first are all looped back into the flower head, anthers hidden, before they all stick out well proud of the flowers.


10th June 2009, Smardale, Yorkshire Dales. Photo: © RWD
When the stamens and their fawn-coloured anthers emerge the flowers take on a fuzzy appearance. Note that each flower-head is actually a very compact umbel.


10th June 2009, Smardale, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Anthers are fawn-coloured on long stamens. Central flower seems to have lost its petals revealing some short red wiry hooks that will later comprise the fruits with hooked spines.


16th June 2010, Bryn Euryn, Colwyn Bay, N. Wales. Photo: © RWD
Each flower has five tiny sepals behind it. The stamens, sticking out well proud of the flower, have lost their anthers; flowers going to seed.


25th April 2015, Dibbinsdale, Bromborough, Wirral. Photo: © RWD
Early leaves


16th June 2010, Bryn Euryn, Colwyn Bay, N. Wales. Photo: © RWD
The lower leaves are rather large, palmate, with five or seven deeply cut lobes.


15th May 2008, Warton Crag, Carnforth, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Like a hand displaying a bouquet.


16th June 2010, Bryn Euryn, Colwyn Bay, N. Wales. Photo: © RWD
Arguable seven lobes here.


Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : The deeply cut palmately shaped lower leaves and the small tight, hemispherical fuzzy heads of very clustered white flowers.

The only member (at least in the UK) of Genus Sanicula. It grows in deciduous woodland, often on chalk or in limestone areas, and can blanket the ground. It is an atypical umbellifer, with the umbels being very small and compacted. The fruits have hooked spines to catch in animals fur aiding propagation.

Of all the plants that are hard to photograph, this one surely must win the prize, for it likes to hide in dark deciduous woods whilst enjoying being bathed in dappled sunshine streaking through the canopy. The brilliant whiteness of its small flowers against the darkest of backgrounds is sure to fool even the most advanced automatic exposure camera (mainly because the smallness of the flowers, which fall far short of filling the frame). The manually set negative exposure compensation required is often in excess of the -2 or -3 stops stops that most digital cameras can offer, resulting in over-exposure of the white flowers.


  Sanicula europaea  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Apiaceae  

Distribution
 family8Carrot family8Apiaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Sanicula
Sanicula
(Sanicle)

SANICLE

Sanicula europaea

Carrot Family [Apiaceae]  

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