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Rattlesnake Root
Prenanthes alba

White Rattlesnake-root is one of the few flowering plants seen in the woods towards the end of summer. It can also be found in smaller forms, typically with smaller, less variable leaves, in rock outcrops and on the rocky shore of Lake Superior. The flower shape is similar to other Prenanthes species, but P. alba is distinguished by its branching clusters of dangling white to pinkish flowers with hairless, purplish bracts, smooth stem and (typically) variable leaf shapes. In some references, P. alba is known by synonym Nabalus albus.

USDA symbol: PRAL2

General Information

Plant TypeForb
Height2 to 4 feet
Light ExposureSun
Soil MoistureDry
Bloom ColorWhite, Pink
Rattlesnake Root (Rattlesnake Root<div><em class="small">Prenanthes alba</em></div>)
Photo credit: Minnesota Wildflowers (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceModerate
General Resilience5
Salt ToleranceMedium

Pollinator Value: High

Bloom MonthsAugust to September
Pollinator BenefitInsect Pollinated, Provides Nectar

Project Planning

Project TypeErosion Control, Restoration
Coefficient of Conservatism6
Herbivore SensitivityLow
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationShallow
Vegetative ReproductionAbsent


CountyAitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, Hubbard, Itasca, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Nicollet, Norman, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pine, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Renville, Rice, Roseau, Sherburne, Sibley, St. Louis, Stearns, Steele, Todd, Wabasha, Wadena, Waseca, Washington, Wilkin, Winona, Wright