Clasping Twistedstalk

  

(Streptopus amplexifolius)

Clasping twisted stalk is perennial herb In the Lily family found around the world in the north. It grows in moist shady areas like stream banks in low to subalpine elevations. With a broad range across North America, distribution includes most of Canada and the northern United States.

Stems have branches and leaves coming off the main stem in a zigzag pattern. Leaves have parallel veins, pale and glaucous underneath. The leaf bases "clasp" the stem they protrude from by wrapping around it part way. From May to July, under the leaves are "twisted" stalks where one or two white bell shaped flowers hang, producing juicy red edible berries. The shoots are also edible and resemble cucumber in taste. The plant looks like a variety of plants growing nearby:

  • Hooker's fairybells (drops of gold)
  • False solomon's seal
  • Rosy twistedstalk
  • Indian helebore (when young)

Clasping twisted stalk's distinguishing features are the branched stem, stem clasping leaves, kinked flower stalks, and berries. Be sure to properly identify this plant if eating the berries or shoots since some lookalikes are poisonous!