Angelica venenosa (Greenway) Fernald
  Dicotyledoneae   Apiaceae   Angelica

Angelica venenosa
© Copyright Bobby Hattaway 2011 · 5
Angelica venenosa

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Scientific source:

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FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Lygaeidae  Lygaeus turcicus @ AMNH_IZC (1)
Reduviidae  Phymata fasciata @ AMNH_IZC (1)

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Angelica venenosa (J. Greenway) Fernald

Wood Angelica

Angelica venenosa plant

Family - Apiaceae

Habit - Taprooted perennial forb.

Stem - Ascending to erect, to 1.5 m, glabrous, sometimes glaucous.

Angelica_venenosa_stem.jpg Stem and node.

Leaves - Alternate and sometimes also basal (1 or 2 basal leaves sometimes present at flowering), glabrous, short- to long-petiolate, the sheathing bases not or only slightly inflated, the uppermost leaves sometimes reduced to bladeless, somewhat inflated sheaths. Leaf blades to 25 cm long, triangular-ovate in outline, pinnately or ternately then pinnately 2-3 times compound, the leaflets distinct, these 15-50 mm long, mostly 10 mm or more wide, ovate or narrowly ovate to elliptic, occasionally with 1 or 2 basal lobes, narrowed or tapered at the base, bluntly or sharply pointed at the tip, finely toothed along the margins, densely short-hairy abaxially.

Angelica_venenosa_basal.jpg Basal leaf.

Angelica_venenosa_leaf.jpg Cauline leaf.

Angelica_venenosa_sheath.jpg Leaf sheath.

Angelica_venenosa_leaflet2.jpg Leaflet abaxial.

Inflorescence - Mostly terminal, compound umbels, long-stalked, the stalks moderately to densely short-hairy. Involucre absent. Rays 18 to numerous, 1-8 cm long, moderately to densely short-hairy. Involucel of several entire bractlets, these mostly slightly shorter than the flower stalks, linear, short-hairy

Angelica_venenosa_inflorescence4.jpg Inflorescence, ventral view.

Angelica_venenosa_inflorescence3.jpg Inflorescence.

Florets - Flowers 8 to numerous in each umbellet, the stalks 2-10 mm long, hairy. Sepals absent or minute triangular teeth. Petals 5, obovate, rounded at the tip, white. Stamens 5. Pistil 1 per flower, composed of 2 fused carpels, the ovary inferior, short-hairy, with a swollen nectar disc at the tip, the styles 2.

Angelica_venenosa_florets.jpg Florets.

Fruits - Schizocarps consisting of 2 mericarps, 4-6 mm long, ovate-elliptic in outline, shallowly cordate at the base, flattened dorsally, sparsely to moderately short-hairy, dark brown with usually lighter ribs. Mericarps indehiscent, 1-seeded, often somewhat flattened, with 5 more or less prominent ribs, some or all of these sometimes winged.

Angelica_venenosa_fruits.jpg Fruits.

Flowering - May - July.

Habitat - Forests, savannas, prairie edges, streambanks.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Other info. - This species is found in a well-defined band extending from Iron and Crawford Counties in Missouri, through the southwest corner of the state, and into Arkansas and Oklahoma. It is also common in the eastern U.S. It is similar in appearance to several other members of the family, but can be distinguished by its distinctly hairy inflorescences and discrete, toothed leaflets.

The toxicity of this species has apparently not been well characterized. Steyermark mentioned an anecdotal report in the historical literature (1793) of a boy in Virginia being poisoned by eating a small quantity of the root; however, the identity of the responsible plant is not known for certain. On the other hand, there is a report of A.venenosa roots being used in the Appalachians as a folk remedy for "nervous stomach" and "hysteria" (Mellinger, M. B. "The Spirit Is Strong in the Root," Appalachian Journal , vol. 4, no. 3/4, 1977). There is no doubt that certain other members of the family are lethally toxic, and some also cause contact dermatitis. The plant should therefore be handled with appropriate caution.

Photographs taken at Millstream Gardens Conservation Area, Madison County, MO, 7-28-2013 and 7-4-2017, and Onondaga Cave State Park, Crawford County, MO, 6-25-2014 and 7-31-2014 (SRTurner).

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You are here: Home / Plant Profile

Angelica venenosa (Greenway) Fernald
hairy angelica

Image of Angelica venenosa

General Information
Symbol: ANVE
Group: Dicot
Family: Apiaceae
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit : Forb/herb
Native Status : CAN   I
L48   N
Data Source and Documentation
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image for native, but no county data Native, No County Data image for introduced, but no county data Introduced, No County Data both introduced and native, but no county data Both, No County Data
Native Status:
lower 48 status L48    Alaska status AK    Hawaii status HI    Puerto Rico status PR    Virgin Islands status VI    Navassa Island NAV    Canada status CAN    Greenland status GL    Saint Pierre and Michelon status SPM    North America NA   


click on a thumbnail to view an image, or see all the Angelica thumbnails at the Plants Gallery

©Thomas G. Barnes. Barnes, T.G., and S.W. Francis. 2004. Wildflowers and ferns of Kentucky . University Press of Kentucky. Usage Requirements .

Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 2: 637. Provided by Kentucky Native Plant Society . Scanned by Omnitek Inc . Usage Requirements .



Symbol Scientific Name
ANVI7 Angelica villosa (Walter) Britton, Sterns & Poggenb.


Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Apiales
Family Apiaceae ⁄ Umbelliferae – Carrot family
Genus Angelica L. – angelica
Species Angelica venenosa (Greenway) Fernald – hairy angelica

Subordinate Taxa

This plant has no children

Legal Status

Threatened and Endangered Information:
This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state. Common names are from state and federal lists. Click on a place name to get a complete protected plant list for that location.
Connecticut hairy angelica Special Concern

Wetland Status

Interpreting Wetland Status

Related Links

More Accounts and Images
ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (ANVE)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ANVE)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ANVI7)
Native American Ethnobotany (University of Michigan - Dearborn) (ANVE)
USF Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants (ANVE)
University of Tennessee Herbarium (Distribution) (ANVE)



Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds


Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds

Description of Values

Value Class Food Cover

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