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Prenanthes boottii (D.C.) Gray

Boott's Rattlesnake Root

Habitat: Alpine regions. [Alpine or subalpine (non-forested, upland)]

Range: Alpine summits of the mountains of northern New England and New York.

Aids to Identification: Boott's rattlesnake root grows as a single stem, 10-30 cm high, with the lower leaves 2-5 cm long, oval to triangular, and the smaller upper leaves oblong. The basal leaves may be sagittate, but not lobed. The stem is often hairy in its upper part. The flower heads, called capitula, are made up of 10 to 18 yellowish-white flowers, are borne in a slender cluster at the stem apex, and may be erect or drooping. The closely related, and frequently co-occurring P. nana has lobed basal leaves and glabrous (hairless) stems. When vegetative, it can be impossible to definitively distinguish Prenanthes boottii from the other species of Prenanthes with which it occurs.

Ecological characteristics: Ecological relationships in Maine are not well known.

Phenology: Flowers July - August.

Family: Asteraceae

Synonyms: Known as Nabalus boottii D.C.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 3 town(s) in the following county(ies): Piscataquis, Somerset.

Dates of documented observations are: 1896, 1978. 1991, 1994 (2), 2000

Reason(s) for rarity: Habitat restricted.

Conservation considerations: Populations could be threatened by heavy recreational (hiking) use.