Allotropa virgata - Sugarstick
Sugarstick is an herbaceous perennial wildflower with a geographic distribution in the western United States, California, and Nevada north to Washington and east to Montana, where it is commonly encountered. Sugarsticks occur above ground as a cluster of flowering stalks.
Allotropa virgata (Allotropa - turned differently; virgata - rod) refers to the flowers turned outward or upward.
Allotropa virgata attains a height of 50 centimeters or less. The plant is glabrous. The leaves are scale-like on the flower stalk (peduncle). The flower stalk is distinct in its white and red or maroon stripes from which the common name Sugarstick follows. The inflorescence is a raceme of densely arranged flowers. The flowers are white and are turned outward or upward. The fruit is a capsule. Once ripened, seed is released through a slit occurring from the base to the tip. The plant is persistent after the seeds have dispersed.
Allotropa virgata flowers from early to mid summer. It is found in mature, moist, shaded, oak, mixed or coniferous forests from 75 to 3,000 meters.
Allotropa virgata is a Forest Service Sensitive species in the Intermountain Region.