Synonyms: Draba praecox, Erophila spathulata, Erophila verna, Erophila vulgaris
Common Names:Shadflower, Nailwort, Vernal whitlow grass, Early witlow grass or Whitlow-grass
It is a inconspicuous tiny, tiny plant with only basal foliage which is small (1 to 2 inches long), pubescent with star shaped hairs, and from green to purple in color.
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Flowers occur in a raceme (typical of mustards), with each flower having 4 white petals. Flowers are small (1 to 3 mm across).Typically disappears before April.
The plant is used as a treatment for whitlows. According to Culpepper: A strong infusion of the whole plant, fresh gathered, is an excellent sweetener of the blood and juice, and good against scorbutic complaints in general Those who wish to use it all the year, should make a syrup of its juice in the Spring, or beat the leaves into a conserve with sugar, for the dried plant loses all its virtues, and is only to be had fresh for a short time in the spring.
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