Wild Licorice

photo by Matt Lavin CC BY SA

American Licorice

Wild Licorice grows near water in moist, well-drained sites in grasslands and foothills. A spike-like cluster of narrow pea-like yellowish-white flowers with an erect upper petal can be seen in June and July.

The plant is 12-40 in tall and leaves are composed of 11-19 long oval leaflets (1 in) on short branches. The flowers turn into oblong brown seed pods covered with long hooked prickles.

Did you know? The hooked bristles on the seed pods catch and cling to animal fur and human clothing distributing the seeds to new areas. Ants are attracted to the seeds and also help in distributing them.

See Also: Golden Bean, Lupine