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Blue-bead Lily, Yellow Corn Lily, Yellow Clintonia - Clintonia borealis


Family: Liliaceae Lily family Genus Common Name: Bluebead Native Status: Native
Clintonia borealis - Blue-bead Lily, Yellow Corn Lily, Yellow Clintonia. Clintonia borealis is one of four species of Clintonia found in the United States; all are native. C. borealis and C. umbellata are found in the eastern half, while C. andrewsiana and C. uniflora are found in the west.

A similar species is Clintonia umbellata (White Clintonia, Speckled Wood Lily). Clintona borealis has a yellow-green flower, with usually 3 to 8 of them in the raceme, while Clintona umbellata is white, usually speckled, with 10 to 24 in an umbel. Clintonia umbellata may have narrower leaves than borealis,and while borealis may have a few hairs on the margins, umbellata has many.

Found in:
CT, GA, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV

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Distribution of Clintonia borealis in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 23 Nov 2014). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

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Site: GSMNP - Clingman's Dome Date: 2005-June-18Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
This photograph was made along the trail near the tower on Clingman's Dome in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The plant has up to 5 dark green glossy leaves that may be up to 16 inches long. The terminal cluster of nodding greenish yellow flowers will have 3 to 8 flowers atop a stem that may be up to 15 inches tall. The plant has bright blue berries.
Clintonia borealis

Site: St. Louis County, MN Date: 2012-September-09Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The blue berries of Clintonia species (except those of Clintonia umbellulata, which are black) give them the "Bluebead Lily" common name. Those of Clintonia borealis are a striking blue. Something has been eating on these, exposing the individual seeds inside.
Clintonia borealis

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2014
Photographs Copyrighted by the named photographer