Anticlea elegans

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Mountain deathcamas
Anticlea elegans (Glacier National Park, Montana - 2006).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Melanthiaceae
Genus: Anticlea
A. elegans
Binomial name
Anticlea elegans
(Pursh) Rydb.[1]

Zigadenus elegans Pursh

Anticlea elegans, formerly Zigadenus elegans, is also known as mountain deathcamas, elegant camas or "alkali grass". It is not a grass (though its leaves are grass-like), but belongs to the trillium family, Melanthiaceae.

It has white lily-like flowers and two-pronged, greenish-yellow glands on each petal (the shape of which can help in distinguishing it from other members of the genus). It is widely distributed throughout North America and occurs in many habitats. Plants on the western side of the continent tend to be smaller in size than their eastern counterparts, but have more densely clustered flowers. The plant is extremely poisonous.[2]

Meriwether Lewis, while on the course of his expedition in 1806, collected a specimen near the Blackfoot River.[3]


  1. ^ Rydb. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 30(5): 273 1903
  2. ^ Whitney, Stephen (1985). Western Forests (The Audubon Society Nature Guides). New York: Knopf. p. 546. ISBN 0-394-73127-1.
  3. ^ Schiemann, Donald Anthony. Wildflowers of Montana, page 142. Mountain Press Publishing Company, Missoula. 2005.

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