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Rare Species
Trailing Arbutus
Indexed Species List

Rare Plants

Trailing Arbutus – Epigea repens

Trailing arbutus is a locally rare plant, though it is common in other Midwestern states. Arbutus grows on steep hillsides to avoid being buried by leaf litter. It is an evergreen plant that has broad oval-shaped leaves and grows, as the name suggests, as a vine along the ground. It has a long history with IU and is the schools official flower. See the Arbutus page for more details.

Green Gentian or American Columbo – Frasera caroliniensis

Green Gentian is a rare plant throughout much of the eastern U.S. It can take between 3 and 7 years to produce flowers, which grow out of a basal rosette. Flowers grow on a burgundy stalk between 1-2m in height. Green gentian produces distinctive green flowers with purple flecks.

Photo credit - Tom Barnes University of Kentucky

Indiana Cucumber Root – Medeola virginiana

Indian Cucumber root is a small herbaceous plant that grows on the forest floor. The plant produces two distinctive whorls of leaves; a set of 7-9 close to the ground and 3-5 near the top of the plant which is generally about 1’ in height. The flowers are often described as looking spidery and extend out of the top whorl of leaves.

Photo credit - Tom Barnes University of Kentucky