Unicorn root was found in this field in Bowdoin. Also known as Colic-root or Colicroot, is was thought to be gone from Maine.

A unicorn has been spotted in Bowdoin.

One of some 300 unicorn root stems sways in a field in Bowdoin.

Unicorn root, a rare flowering plant that has not been found in Maine for more than 130 years, was found growing this year in Bowdoin, according to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The 300 flowering stems were discovered in a damp field on private property.

It had been believed that the plant was wiped out here.

The plant has been found in Maine only three previous times. Botanist Kate Furbish found it growing in Brunswick in 1874 and Wells in 1879. A third specimen was found in Lewiston in 1887.

Unicorn root, also known as white colic-root or colicroot, has a basal rosette of lance-shaped leaves and a single, tall stalk with white flowers that appear in July and August, according to the department. It ranges across most of the eastern United States and Ontario, but it is rare in northeastern states.

Unicorn root grows in open, moist, sandy ground and is most often found in tall-grass prairie habitats and damp meadows with little to no topsoil.

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: grahamgillian

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