Bulbs slender, ellipsoid, 3-8 cm. Stems 5-20 dm. Leaves numerous, ascending; blade narrowly linear, channeled, 20-70 × 0.5-3 cm, apex acuminate to obtuse. Inflorescences freely branching, terminal panicles of many compound racemes; terminal racemes longer than lateral; bracts linear, 2 mm. Flowers erect; perianth rotate; tepals not recurved distally, white to greenish yellow, narrowly lanceolate, 4-10 × 1-2 mm, apex acute to narrowly acuminate; tepal glands absent; stamens 1-4 mm; filaments equal; pedicel divergent, 4-6 mm. Capsules oblong, cylindric to ovoid, 6-10 mm including divergent style beaks. Seeds brown, ellipsoid to lanceoloid, 5-8(-10) mm. 2n = 20. Flowering mid--late summer. Moist woods, thickets, and meadows; 0--1200 m; Ala., Ark., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., La., Md., Mich., Mo., N.C., Ohio, Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va. Stenanthium gramineum shares molecular affinities with the Zigadenus densus (Desrousseaux) Fernald and Z. leimanthoides A. Gray species pair (W. B. Zomlefer et al. 2001). The varieties of Stenanthium gramineum recognized by M. L. Fernald, but not here, are indistinct and sympatric (R. R. Gates 1918; R. G. Johnson 1969). The disjunct upper Michigan localities represent locally established waifs (E. G. Voss 1972-1985, vol. 1).
Perennial herb with a bulb 0.5 - 2 m tall Stem: upright. Leaves: mostly basal, numerous, spiral, ascending, sheathing at the base, 20 cm - 0.7 m long, 0.5 - 3 cm wide, reduced upward, narrowly linear with a rounded to pointed tip, channeled. Inflorescence: a terminal, branched group of compound clusters (racemes), 20 cm - 0.5 m long. The wand-like terminal raceme is longer than the lateral ones. Flowers: upright, white to greenish yellow, variable in size, rotate (disc-shaped), with six narrowly lance-shaped tepals. Tepals 4 - 10 mm long, 1 - 2 mm wide. Stamens six. Fruit: a three-lobed capsule, 6 - 15 mm long (including beaks), cylindrical to egg-shaped. Seeds brown and 3 - 8 mm long.
Similar species: No information at this time.
Flowering: June to August
Habitat and ecology: Rare in the Chicago Region and known only from Newton County, Indiana. It is uncommon in the southern half of Illinois, where it grows in moist woods and along streams.
Occurence in the Chicago region: native
Etymology: Stenanthium comes from the Greek words stenos, meaning narrow, and anthos, meaning flower, referring to the narrow tepals. Gramineum means grass-like.
Stem erect, leafy, to 1.5 m; lvs numerous, the larger 2-4 dm נ5-15 mm; panicle 2-5 dm, freely branched, the central axis continued into a wand-like terminal raceme; pedicels and bracts 2 mm; fls variable in size, the tep 4-10 mm; fr 10-15 mm; seeds 3-5 mm; 2n=20. Moist woods and meadows; Pa., O., Ind., and Mo., s. to Fla. and Ark.; locally intr. in Mich. July-Sept. (S. robustum, the form with erect instead of deflexed frs)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.