Sun/shade: Full sun to part shade
Soil moisture: Dry to medium
Flowering period: July to October
Host plant for 7 caterpillar species
The shade of the forest floor seems to brighten for a time when the white snakeroot blooms, with clusters of white flowers appearing in luminous relief atop stems bearing dark green foliage. The timing of the flowering period makes white snakeroot an important resource for pollinators as summer transitions to fall. Small species of butterflies show a special affinity for white snakeroot, and other insects including moths, flies, wasps, and bees also utilize the plant.
A good competitor, white snakeroot is a major nonwoody constituent of forests throughout much of the eastern US, including Ohio. The plant is well adapted to disturbed landscapes and is a common volunteer in backyards, vacant lots, and other urban spaces, where it spreads through airborne seeds as well as through underground stems, called rhizomes. White snakeroot is tolerant of light availability ranging from full sun through shade, but grows best under partial shade in soils of average to moderately dry moisture. One to four feet in height and resistant to mammalian herbivory, white snakeroot is a robust and handsome addition to the shade garden.