WILD LICORICE, Glycyrrhiza
lepidota (Nutt.) Pursh. 1, entire plant; 2, roots;
3, flower; 4, seed pods with seed. Perennial, reproducing
by underground rootstocks and by seeds. Roots deep and spreading,
with a sweet taste. Stems 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 cm) tall, smooth,
erect, and branched. Leaves alternate, compound with 11 to 19 deeply
veined leaflets, smooth-edged. Flowers yellowish-white, resembling
those of alfalfa in shape, in a crowded terminal spike. Seed pod
1/2 to 1 inch (1.3 to 2.5 cm) long, brown, burlike, covered with hooked
spines. Seeds green to reddish-brown, smooth, dull, bean-shaped.
Found in pastures, meadows, and waste places. Plant does not persist
in cultivated land.