[The Twisted Stalks of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Clasp-leaf Twisted-stalk, Claspingleaf Twistedstalk, Clasping-leaf Twisted Stalk, Clasping Twisted-stalk, Cucumber Root

Streptopus amplexifolius

Synonyms: Streptopus amplexifolius var. americanus, Streptopus amplexifolius var. amplexifolius, Streptopus amplexifolius var. chalazatus

Flower of Clasp-leaf Twisted-stalk, Claspingleaf Twistedstalk, Clasping-leaf Twisted Stalk, Clasping Twisted-stalk, Cucumber Root: Streptopus amplexifolius (Synonyms: Streptopus amplexifolius var. americanus, Streptopus amplexifolius var. amplexifolius, Streptopus amplexifolius var. chalazatus)

The photo above shows a close-up of the flower of clasping-leaf twisted stalk. Note the long, slender pedicel which is bent at nearly a right angle where the flower descends from the middle of the leaf. Photographed from the southeastern slopes of Mt. Adams........June 12, 2005.
Characteristics:

Clasping-leaf twisted stalk is an erect, rhizomatous, perennial wildflower. The stems are succulent in texture and 50-120 cm long. The stems are twisted noticeably in a zigzag pattern and are freely branched. The herbage ranges from glabrous to fairly pubescent with thick, rigid hairs on the lower stems. The leaves alternate along the stems and are oval to oblong-lanceolate in shape with parallel venation. They measure 5-14 cm long and 3-7 cm wide and have clasping bases (Those of rosy twisted stalk do not clasp the stem.).

The flowers hang on thin, sharply bend stalks from 9-15 mm long. These stalks contain a small gland at the bend. The 6 tepals are white and greenish-tinged, the tepals 9-15 mm long with the tips spreading to reflexed back. The 6 stamens are of unequal length, the innermost longer than the outer stamens. The fruit is a yellow-red to dark purple berry, oval to oblong in shape and 10-12 mm long on the sharply bent stalk.

The stems, leaves and roots of clasping-leaf twisted stalk was used by Native Americans as a scent and was also used on fishing nets to improve the catch of fish.

Similar species include rosy twisted stalk, fairy bells and fairy lanterns, star-flowered false Solomon seal, and false Solomon seal.


Habitat:

Clasping-leaf twisted stalk may be found along streambanks, and in moist forests.


Range:

Clasping-leaf twisted stalk may be found from Alaska south to California and and east through forested or mountainous areas of much of Canada and the United States.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 100'-4000' from east of the Sandy River east to the Little White Salmon River.


Pendant flowers of Clasp-leaf Twisted-stalk, Claspingleaf Twistedstalk, Clasping-leaf Twisted Stalk, Clasping Twisted-stalk, Cucumber Root: Streptopus amplexifolius (Synonyms: Streptopus amplexifolius var. americanus, Streptopus amplexifolius var. amplexifolius, Streptopus amplexifolius var. chalazatus)

Clasping-leaf twisted stalk looks familiar to false solomon seal which has a panicle for its inflorescence, but note that this twisted stalk has the flowers from the axils of the leaves rather than from the tip of the stem.

Leafy stalks of Clasp-leaf Twisted-stalk, Claspingleaf Twistedstalk, Clasping-leaf Twisted Stalk, Clasping Twisted-stalk, Cucumber Root: Streptopus amplexifolius (Synonyms: Streptopus amplexifolius var. americanus, Streptopus amplexifolius var. amplexifolius, Streptopus amplexifolius var. chalazatus)

Drooping, leafy stalks of clasping-leaf twisted stalk hanging from steep slopes along the trail near Lower Elowah Falls in the western Columbia River Gorge........May 20, 2009.

Paul Slichter