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Habitat : The plant is native to the boreal forest in eastern North America, but is also found in other coniferous or mixed forests and in cool temperate maple forests. It is not found in open spaces, and only grows in the shade.
Clintonia borealis is a small (5–10 in) perennial plants, usually found in homogeneous colonies. At full growth, a shoot has 2–4 clasping and curved, slightly succulent leaves with parallel venation. The flowers are arranged in small umbels at the extremity of a long stalk. They have 6 stamens and 3 identical sepals and petals (tepals). In rare cases more than one umbel is found on a shoot or shoots from a clone. The fruits are small dark blue, lurid berries. A white-berried form (f. albicarpa) also exists.
The plant reproduces via seed or vegetatively by rhizomes. Flowering in May and June and the bloom color is Yellow , Green , Brown. It takes over a dozen years for a clone to establish and produce its first flower, 2 years of which are dedicated solely to germination. The rhizome starts to mold after approximatively 15 years, but a colony often covers several hundred m². Few specimens establish new colonies.
Clintonia borealis is extremely slow to spread, but established clones can usually survive many later modifications, as long as sunlight remains limited. Whereas crossed pollination is more efficient in producing seeds, self-pollination will still produce seeds, allowing the plant to propagate.
Like other slow-growing forest plants, such as Trilliums, Blue-bead lily is extremely sensitive to grazing by White-tailed Deer.
Propagation: Usually propagated by dividing underground runners in fall or early spring, but may also be grown from seed planted immediately after ripening. Plant divisions 1 in. deep. Be careful when handling the rhizomes and roots, because they are brittle. Pulp-
Edible Uses: The young leaves of the plant are edible while still only a few inches tall. The fruit however, is mildly toxic, and is quite unpleasant tasting.
The rhizome contains diosgenin, a saponin steroid with estrogenic effects.The plant contains diosgenin a chemical from which progesterone is manufactured. It is anti-inflammatory and Native Americans used it to treat injuries of various kinds from bruises to burns and infections. A root tea was used as a tonic and to aid in childbirth. The leaves are cardiac and disinfectant. A poultice has been applied to open wounds, burns, ulcers, scrofulous sores and infections.
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
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