Streptopus lanceolatus (Rose Twisted-stalk)

Plant Info
Also known as: Rose Mandarin, Rosybells, Sessile-leaf Twisted-stalk
Family:Liliaceae (Lily)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, shade; rich, moist woods
Bloom season:May - June
Plant height:6 to 16 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FAC MW: FAC NCNE: FACU
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 6-petals Flower shape: bell Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] Usually 1, occasionally 2, hanging, stalked flowers arising from most leaf axils. Each bell-shaped flower is ¼ to about 1/3 inch long with 6 narrow lobes that are flaring or curled back (recurved) only at the tips. Flower color varies greatly, from nearly white to deep maroon, usually with darker rose-purple spots or streaks. 6 stamens and a weakly 3-lobed style are inside the tube. The flowers are typically hidden under the leaves and may go unseen. Flower stalks are up to ¾ inch long, slender, hairy, and arching.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are 2 to 4 inches long, ¾ to 1¾ inches wide, toothless, lance-oblong to narrowly egg-shaped with a sharply pointed tip, several prominent parallel veins, and a rounded base. Surfaces are green and hairless.

[photo of leaf base, stem and hairs] Leaf edges are fringed with short hairs. Leaves are stalkless to weakly clasping the stem. The stem is variably covered in short hairs, sometimes smooth at the base, unbranched or few branched, erect in the lower plant often arching above, and often zig-zags some between the alternately attached leaves. Plants can form loose colonies from slender rhizomes.

Fruit: Fruit type: berry/drupe

[photo of fruit] Fruit is a round to oval berry ¼ to 1/3 inch in diameter that ripens to red or purple and contains many seeds.


Rose Twisted-stalk, formerly known as Streptopus roseus, is found in rich woodlands and forests in about two-thirds of Minnesota. At first glance it may be mistaken for one of the Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum) species, which also have 6-parted dangling flowers from leaf axils and stalkless leaves, but also have 2 or more flowers in a cluster, pale greenish yellow flowers with petals fused nearly to the tip, blue-black fruit, and do not have a fringe of hairs around leaf edges. Also similar is Clasping-leaved Twisted-stalk (Streptopus amplexifolius), which is a larger plant, hairless, more freely branched, with greenish yellow petals that are more widely spreading. There are 3 or 4 varieties of S. lanceolatus, though these are not universally agreed upon, distinguished by rhizome characteristics and the density of hairs around leaf edges; var. longipes with long rhizomes would be found in Minnesota.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Banning State Park, Pine County, Falls Creek SNA, Washington County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Cass, Cook, Pine and Washington counties.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Sue Fredstrom - In my south Minneapolis yard
on: 2018-10-04 13:09:35

The first appearance was in a moist,shady spot near my garage. I dug it upthe next spring,I believe and transplanted it to a couple of other, similar spots and it’s done very well, with more stalks each year. The only other place I’ve seen it, I think, is the Eloise Butler garden. Do you know if it can be propagated by seed, and if so, how the seeds should be treated beforehand? Thanks.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2018-10-04 13:27:48

Sue, almost anything can be propagated by seed. Try planting in fall, since many species require over-wintering to germinate.

Posted by: Susan Premo - Kawishiwi river campground
on: 2023-05-10 18:11:57

Along a trail in the woods, it took me awhile to finally figure it out, that was about 2 years ago. Fun to discover a new plant and such a beauty!

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