WILD LICORICE
File Size: 80 KB
 
Glycyrrhiza lepidota  Pursh
Mitchell County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 1-4 feet
Family: Fabaceae - Bean Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July, August
Stems: Erect or ascending, 1 to several, mostly unbranched, glabrous or minutely hairy, ribbed when dry.
Leaves: Alternate, stalked, odd-pinnately compound; leaflets 7-21, lanceolate or oblong, 1 to 2.75 inches long, .25 to .75 inch wide, glandular-sticky, mid-vein beneath often pubescent; margins entire; tips end in short, abrupt points.
Inflorescences: Racemes, spike-like, 1 to 2 inches long, erect, densely flowered, terminal on stout stalks .5 to 2.75 inches long, in leaf axils.
Flowers: About 1/2 inch long, creamy-white or white; calyces deeply and sharply 5-lobed; corollas papilionaceous; stamens 10, in 2 sets.
Fruits: Pods, oblong, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, densely covered with hooked prickles, reddish brown; seeds 3-5, kidney-shaped, smooth, olive green to brownish.
Habitat: Moist, open prairie ravines, stream valleys, roadsides, and waste areas.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
Forage Value: Deer will consume the foliage, and upland game birds will eat the seeds.
Uses: Native Americans chewed the root of wild licorice to sooth toothaches; used a liquid made from the roots to treat stomachaches, sore throats, and coughs; and chewed the leaves and applied the mixture to sores on horses.
Comments: Wild licorice forms colonies via extensive rhizomes. It is closely related to Glycyrrhiza glabra L., which is the source of licorice flavoring for candies and medicines. The roots of wild licorice can grow 8-12 feet.

Wild licorice
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Wild licorice inflorescence
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Mitchell County, Kansas
Wild licorice leaflets
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Wild licorice pods
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Wild licorice pods
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