Narthecium americanum - Bog Asphodel Home - Plant Profiles & Photos

This plant is NJ endangered and globally endangered. For more information click "More info" button below.

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Narthecium americanum, bog asphodel, is a native herbaceous perennial plant that grows in the bogs and swamps of the Pine Barrens. It blooms in late June, July.


The small yellow flowers grow in tight clusters that are about 2.5 inches tall on upright stalks that are about 1.5 ft. tall.

The first photo shows a flower cluster, the second photo shows the flowers fully open and a brilliant yellow. The next shows a single flower with 6 petals, 6 hairy stamens and a single pistil.

Narthecium americanum - Bog Asphodel - Flower cluster, infloresence Narthecium americanum - Bog Asphodel -  Flowers fully open Narthecium americanum - Bog Asphodel -  single flower: 6 petals, 6 hairy stamen, single pistil

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Mid July, fruits begin to develop. As the fruit matures, it changes from green to deep reddish brown. Narthecium americanum - Bog Asphodel - fruit development Narthecium americanum - Bog Asphodel - fruit development Narthecium americanum - Bog Asphodel - fruit development

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Leaves and growth habit

The photo below shows the narrow grass-like basal leaves. The next photo shows the habitat where it is growing in the bog adjacent other plants like goldcrest (Lophiola aurea)

Narthecium americanum - Bog Asphodel narrow grass-like basal leaves Narthecium americanum - Bog Asphodel growing in bog with other plants like goldcrest (Lophiola aurea)

All photos by H & M Ling, 6/29/2015, 7/16/2015, 8/05/2017, 9/24/2017 - Pine Barrens, NJ

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Additional information

Additional information / references:

The USDA website shows the limited distribution in the US and even in the states that have it. It is considered endangered in New Jersey and North Carolina: Although a few other states are indicated in the USDA website, other sources suggest that NJ is the sole remaining area in the world with current populations.

New Jersey Heritage Natural Heritage Program, in its endangered plant species list, gives Narthecium americanum - Bog Asphodel these classifications:
G2=Imperiled globally because of rarity (6 to 20 occurrences or few remaining individuals or acres)
S2=Imperiled in New Jersey because of rarity (6 to 20 occurrences)
E=Native New Jersey plant species whose survival in the State or nation is in jeopardy,
LP=Indicates taxa listed by the Pinelands Commission as endangered or threatened within their legal jurisdiction,
HL=Indicates taxa or ecological communities protected by the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act within the jurisdiction of the Highlands Preservation Area
NJ Heritage Natural Heritage Program overview:
NJ Heritage Natural Heritage Program list of endangered plants:
NJ Heritage Natural Heritage Program status codes:

Center for Plant Conservation:

Flora of North America:

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