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A picture of a Comptonia

Comptonia

Comptonia spp.

Sweet-fern (Huron Shores) by Fungus Guy (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Overview

Comptonia is a small genus containing only 1 species of deciduous shrub, it is also confusingly known as sweetfern despite not being related to ferns. This is after the foliage appearance, which strongly resembles that of ferns. The single species in this genus comes from North America and typically grows 1.5m high. It is adapted to dry, sandy environments and the leaves produce a sweet scent when handled. Flowers are unassuming, borne generally in clusters and coloured yellow-green, the lead on to red-brown bristly burrs containing edible nutlets.