Nabalus albus

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White rattlesnake root
Prenanthes alba BB-1913-1.png
Nabalus albus[1]
Scientific classification
N. albus
Binomial name
Nabalus albus

Prenanthes alba L.

Nabalus albus in bloom on the Bruce Trail near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Nabalus albus, the white rattlesnake-root, also known as Boott's rattlesnake-root[2] or white lettuce, is a plant in the family Asteraceae, native to Canada and the Eastern United States.[3][4][5] Details of the flower heads are needed to separate this species from others in the rattlesnake-root genus (Nabalus). The Iroquois applied a poultice of the roots of white rattlesnake root to rattlesnake bites. It can be found growing in forests, woodlands, and anthropogenic habitats. The flower head has ray flowers only, meaning all of the individual flowers of the flower head have a strap-shaped ray, which may or may not have teeth at the very tip of the ray. The colors vary from blue to purple, pink to red, or white. The leaf blade length can be between 40 and 300 mm. while the flower head width can be 3 to 5 mm.[4] Blooms from July to September in Missouri.[6] In 2010 it was reclassified from the genus Prenanthes to Nabalus.[7]


Map of where the plant lives

White rattlesnake-root is native to Canada and the Eastern United States west into North Dakota, northeast Missouri,[6] and four counties in northwest Arkansas, and four counties in northwest Arkansas.[6][8] It is commonly present in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.[4]


  1. ^ 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. 3: 335.
  2. ^ "University of Vermont Natural Areas: Mount Mansfield". Environmental Studies at UVM. University of Vermont. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  3. ^ Plants for a Future
  4. ^ a b c "Nabalus albus (white rattlesnake-root)". Go Botany. New England Wildflower Society. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  5. ^ US Department of Agriculture plants profile
  6. ^ a b c Yatskievych, G. 2006. Steyermark's Flora of Missouri. 3 Vols. The Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, MO, USA. Vol. 2: 377-382
  7. ^
  8. ^ Gentry, J.L.; Johnson, J.P.; Baker, B. T.; Witsell, C. T.; Ogle, J. D., eds. 2013. Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Arkansas. University of Arkansas Herbarium, Fayetteville, AR, USA

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