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Stenanthium densum is often confused with:
Amianthium muscitoxicum Flower
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Arisaema triphyllum Arisaema triphyllum
Robinia pseudoacacia Mature form
Trillium grandiflorum Flowers
Stenanthium densum has some other problems:
Poisonous Plants to Livestock

Osceola's Plume Stenanthium densum

Previously known as:

  • Tracyanthus angustifolius
  • Zigadenus densus
Phonetic Spelling
sten-ANTH-ee-um DEN-sum
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

The common name of Osceola's Plume refers to its plume of flowers.   Another common name, crowpoison,  is derived from its poisonous nature. This native plant can be found growing throughout a large portion of the Southeastern Coastal Plains in moist open savannas, wet flat woods, bogs, and pine lands. In North Carolina, it occurs throughout the southern and central Coastal Plain.  

This long-lived native perennial wildflower naturalizes easily in its native habitat. It's a wild species that may be difficult to find in cultivation.  Unlike other plants of this species that bloom in the summer, this plant blooms in the spring months.

The showy flowers begin forming and blooming near the bottom of the stem, working their way upwards.  Older flowers may turn a rich rose-red to purple as they age.  From a distance, the closely held flowers appear as a fluffy plume.  Following a fire, this plant can be more noticeable and does favor locations where prescribed burns have been completed.  

This plant belongs to a group of plants known as 'death camas'.  It is said to be the most toxic.  The foliage can cause death to livestock that graze on this plant.  The bulb, which resembles an onion, is also toxic, and can cause death if ingested.  Caution should be used when grazing animals or family pets are in the vicinity of these plants.

It dies to the ground in the winter months, then come springtime, a whirl of long, thin leaves emerges.  From the leaves a mostly leafless stem grows up to 5' tall.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  If ingested, the foliage and bulbs are both toxic to grazing animals and family pets.  

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bulb#showy flowers#poisonous#white flowers#wildlife plant#native perennials#NC native#long lifespan#colonies#native wildflower#wildflower garden#food source summer#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains OBL#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for children#problem for horses#Audubon#colonizing#salt intolerant#native#colony
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bulb#showy flowers#poisonous#white flowers#wildlife plant#native perennials#NC native#long lifespan#colonies#native wildflower#wildflower garden#food source summer#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains OBL#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for children#problem for horses#Audubon#colonizing#salt intolerant#native#colony
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Stenanthium
    Species:
    densum
    Family:
    Melanthiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Wildflower
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern and central U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TX, VA
    Wildlife Value:
    Pollinators are attracted to the flowers.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Dark brown capsules display from May to July, attracting pollinators.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Creating a fluffy plume, small white 6-petaled flowers are attached to a 3'-5' stalk. They bloom from April to June. Flowering will begin at the bottom of the stalk going upwards.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The basal leaves are the prominent leaves and are needle or grass like. Other leaves appear along the stem are few and far between.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Children
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Onion-like bulbs it may cause death in humans and is likely to cause death in livestock and pets. It can also cause a coma.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Alkaloids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Roots