Index- plants in this Family
Saxifragaceae / Saxifrage
Grass of Parnassus (Parnassia asarifolia)
Grass of Parnassus is also known as Kidneyleaf Grass of Parnassus which is the official vernacular..

Plant Type: This is a herbaceous plant, it is a perennial which can reach 20cm in height (8inches).
Leaves: The leaves are alternate. Leaves can reach 10cm in length (4inches). Each leaf is entire. There are numerous basal leaves on long stems and each flowering stem may have a single clasping leaf or none.
Flowers: The flowers have 5 Regular Parts and are up to 3.5cm wide (1.4 inches). They are white with green translucent lines. Blooms first appear in late summer and continue into late fall. There are five stamens and five infertile stamen like organs. In this species the false stamens are shorter than the real ones. The petals are on stalks (clawed) and the viens near the edge of the petals are often branched.
Habitat: Wet areas, bogs swamps and moist woods.
Range: Virginia and West Virginia to Alabama and Georgia west to east Texas.

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This plant is distinctive (to the genus level) and will not be mistaken due to the very unusual petals. The design is an effort to attract pollinators.

Similar Species: Largeleaf grass of Parnassus (Parnassia grandifolia) is somewhat rare. The false stamens are longer than the real ones and are pointed. It is found from north Florida to Texas and north to Montana. Also rare and with longer false stamens is Carolina Grass of Parnassus (Parnassia caroliniana). It has rounded false stamens and may be found in Florida, Mississippi and south east North Carolina.

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Grass of Parnassus (Parnassia asarifolia) - close view of flower  © Daniel Reed

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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.

Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.

Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves



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