Several Sanicula species grow in the eastern or southeastern United States: Sanicula canadensis, S. smallii, S. trifoliata, and S. odorata. I believe this plant is S. canadensis which is known by the common names Canada Blacksnakeroot, Canada Sanicle, Black Snakeroot.
When I first saw this plant, I thought I was looking at burrs but when I took a closer look, the ‘burrs’ had tiny white flowers about 1 mm in diameter. I’ve only seen it at Fort Yargo State Park where I saw several plants along the trail from the dam opposite the swimming beach (segment 3) and half way between the Fishing Area and Picnic Area #1 (segment 13) where they grow in shaded areas.
The top of a plant in a rare patch of sunlight.
Leaves and flower heads.
Flower heads with flowers.
A closer view of the flowers; they may not be fully opened.
Sanicula Canadensis (Canada Blacksnakeroot) is native to the eastern United States and Canada.
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- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Sanicula canadensis (Canada Blacksnakeroot)
- University of North Carolina Herbarium: Sanicula canadensis
- Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Sanicula canadensis (Canada Sanicle, Black Snakeroot)
- Missouri Plants: Sanicula canadensis
- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower – Wildflower Index