Pyrola rotundifolia

Botanical Name : Pyrola rotundifolia
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Pyrola
Subgenus: Monotropoideae
Species: P. rotundifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Name :Round-leaved Wintergreen

Habitat : Pyrola rotundifolia is native to Europe, including Britain, from Iceland south and east to Spain  N. and W. Asia. N. E. N. America.  It grows on bogs, fens and woods, especially beech woods, often on limestone, and in dune slacks. Avoids acid soils.

Description:
Pyrola rotundifolia is an evergreen Perennial plant that creeps in growth.The height of the plant is up to 5-6 inches or sometimes little more.
The plant generally grows in large bunches on sandy and barren plains.The branches are stiff and it’s leaves are oval, shiney and petiolate. The flowers bloom in July and June seasons. The Oil odor is pretty unique a fragant and it tastes astrigent.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jun to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.
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Cultivation:
Prefers a moist sandy woodland soil in a cool position with partial shade. Requires a peaty or leafy but not very acid soil that remains moist in the summer. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c. This is a very ornamental but difficult plant to grow. It requires a mycorrhizal relationship in the soil and therefore needs to be grown initially in soil collected from around an established plant. It is also very difficult from seed as well as being intolerant of root disturbance which makes division difficult. The flowers have a delicious almond-like fragrance.
Propagation:
Seed – the only information we have on this species is that it is difficult from seed and germinates infrequently. We would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Sow it into soil collected from around an established plant, only just covering the seed, and put the pot in a shady part of a cold frame. Pot up any young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle, once again using soil from around an established plant. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are large enough. You should not need to use soil from around an established plant to do this since the soil in the pot will contain the necessary micorrhiza. Division with great care in the spring. Pot up the divisions using some soil from around an established plant, grow on in a lightly shaded part of a greenhouse or frame and do not plant out until the plants are growing away vigorously

Medicinal Uses:

The leaves are antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, cardiotonic, contraceptive, diuretic, poultice, sedative and tonic. A decoction is used in the treatment of skin diseases, as a gargle and a wash for the eyes. It is used internally in the treatment of epilepsy and other nervous afflictions. The leaves are harvested in mid to late summer and can be used fresh or dried. The plant contains arbutin, a proven diuretic and antibacterial agent that is used as a urinary antiseptic, this hydrolyzes in the body into the toxic hydroquinone.
Administer internally for gravel, ulcerations of the bladder, bloody urine and other urinary diseases; useful in the relief of a scrofulous taint from the system; also for epilepsy and other nervous affections. The decoction will be found beneficial as a gargle for sore throat and mouth and as an external wash for sore or ophthalmic eyes.  It is also used in injections for whites and various diseases of the womb. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of skin diseases, as a gargle and a wash for the eyes. It is used internally in the treatment of epilepsy and other nervous afflictions.

Other Uses:
Plants can be used as a ground cover when spaced about 30cm apart each way. They are somewhat slow to settle down though, and only form a good cover when they are growing luxuriantly.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrola_rotundifolia
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/10061153
http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/potd/2008/10/pyrola_rotundifolia.php
http://www.essentialoil.in/wintergreen-oil.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm?Voucher2=Connect+to+Internet

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pyrola+rotundifolia

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