Help Identifying Shade-Loving Wild Plant


Emma

Recreational bird watcher and novice gardener
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Hello!
A few years ago, I was walking along a trail that runs along-side a river in eastern North Carolina. There was a clearing with this plant that was fragrant and it multiplied all the way back through the woods. It looks like it prefers shade, and the closest thing I can compare it to would be Chamaelirium luteum aka Fairy Wand. I don't see any notes on Fairy Wand having a scent, so I am not positive this is the same plant.

Attached is a photo. Does anyone know what this is?
 

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Yes, I concur

Lizard-tail (Saururus cernuus), native to eastern North America, from Quebec to Mexico. Horticulturally, it makes an attractive addition to
bog gardens and well-watered beds and containers. The plant's pungent secondary metabolites hold claims of medicinal benefit.
There is one other species of Saururus native to eastern Asia, Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines (S. chinensis).

The genus is a member of the Lizard-tail Family (Sauraceae), a small family four genera of herbaceous plants with strongly scented foliage. The other members include Yerba Mansa (Anemopsis calfornica), Chameleon Plant (Houttuynia cordata), and two species of Gymnotheca.

Furthermore, Sauraceae is the sister group (nearest relative) of the large Black Pepper Family (Piperaceae), which is also well-known for its strongly scented foliage and fruit.
 

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