Parnassia palustris

Botanical Name :Parnassia palustris
Family: Celastraceae
Genus: Parnassia
Species: P. palustris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Celastrales

Common Names :Grass Of Parnassus, Marsh grass of Parnassus, Mountain grass of Parnassus, Alaska grass of Parnass, Northern Grass-of-Parnassus, and Bog-star

Habitat :Parnassia palustris is native to  Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, Greece and temperate Asia.  It grows in wet moorland, marshes and raised bogs to quite a high altitude.

Description:
An evergreen perennial herb with prominent white blossom. Leaves are all basal except for the single, ovate, sessile leaf (or bract) usually present near or below the middle of the stem. Basal leaves ovate, heart-shaped, tapering to the base, up to 1½” long, smooth, without teeth, on stalks up to 4″ long. Single stem leaf usually cordate and clasping. Stem is upright, slender, unbranched, to 1½’ tall, smooth, bearing a single leaf or bract about 1/3 the way up the stem. Roots to 8″ depth Flowers are white and showy, solitary on the stem, up to 1″ across. Sepals 5, green, lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, ¼”-½” long, with 5-7 veins. Petals are  5, white, free from each other, ovate to obovate, up to ½” long, not fringed, with 3-13 veins. Typically 1½-2 times as long as sepals. Stamens are 5 fertile, many sterile. Ovary is  more or less superior (within blossom)  Fruit is  an ovoid, 4-valved capsule, up to ½” long, subtended by persistent sepals.  Seed are numerous, tiny, oblong, and angular.

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Cultivation:
Succeeds in moist peaty soils or in spongy bogs. Requires an alkaline soil. Plants can be naturalized in marshy grass.

Propagation :
Seed – sow as soon as it is ripe in late autumn in a cold frame in pots of soil that are standing in shallow water. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring.

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Medicinal Uses:

The whole plant is astringent, slightly diuretic, sedative, tonic and vulnerary. A decoction is occasionally used as a mouthwash in the treatment of stomatitis. The dried and powdered plant can be sprinkled onto wounds to aid the healing process. The plant is harvested in the summer or autumn and can be dried for later use. A distilled water made from the plant is an excellent astringent eye lotion.

A decoction of the plant is occasionally used as a mouthwash in the treatment of stomatitis. The dried and powdered plant can be sprinkled onto wounds to aid the healing process. A distilled water made from the plant is an excellent astringent eye lotion.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.rook.org/earl/bwca/nature/aquatics/parnassia.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parnassia_palustris
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

http://www.pinguicula.org/images/plantes/Parnassia_palustris(HR).jpg

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Parnassia+palustris

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