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Beach Silvertop Glehnia littoralis ssp. leiocarpa


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Beach Silvertop
credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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Alternate name: American Silvertop

Family: Apiaceae, Carrot view all from this family

Description Low-spreading perennial herb with a long taproot that forms a basal patch of pinnate leaves in rosettes laying on sand and an erect stem topped with tiny carrotlike white flowers.
Flowers: 3-4" (7.5-10 cm) wide inflorescence with pedicels, nearly equal in length, spreading from a common center with a couple thick branches and noticeable bracts beneath inflorescences.
Leaves: 1-6" (2.5-15 cm) long, fleshy and fuzzy beneath. Each one made up of usually several rounded, lobular segments.
Fruit: 0.25-0.5" (6-13 mm) long with numerous flat sides; almost geometric in appearance.
Height: Reaches a maximum height exceeding 1.5' (0.5 m).

Flower May, June, July.

Habitat Sandy areas including beaches and dunes.

Range Native to eastern Asia, especially eastern China, Japan,far-eastern Russia and the Northern Pacific Coast from Alaska south to the northern three counties of California. Also the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Discussion Also known as American silvertop. There is only one species of Glehnia. The other subspecies is Asian. Genus name probably honors P. von Glehn, a curator at the St. Petersburg Botanic Garden in St. Petersburg, Russia in the 1800s.