Tag Archives: Montana

Veratrum californicum

Botanical Name: Veratrum californicum
Family: Melanthiaceae
Genus: Veratrum
Species: V. californicum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

Common Names: California corn lily, white or California false hellebore

Habitat : Veratrum californicum is native to mountain meadows at 3500 to 11,000 ft elevation in southwestern North America, the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains, and as far north as Washington State and as far south as Durango. It grows in swamps, creek bottoms, moist woodlands and meadows, from lowland to the sub-alpine zone.

Description:
Veratrum californicum is a perennial plant. It grows 1 to 2 meters tall, with an erect, unbranched, heavily leafy stem resembling a cornstalk. It prefers quite moist soil, and can cover large areas in dense stands near streams or in wet meadows. It is in flower from Aug to September. Many inch-wide flowers cluster along the often-branched top of the stout stem; they have 6 white tepals, a green center, 6 stamens, and a 3-branched pistil (see image below). The buds are tight green spheres. The heavily veined, bright green leaves can be more than a foot long. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera....CLICK & SEE

Veratrum californicum displays mast seeding; populations bloom and seed little in most years, but in occasional years bloom and seed heavily in synchrony.

The plant has become a local Fourth of July parade tradition in Crested Butte, Colorado, where it locally referred to as “skunk cabbage.”

Varieties:
*Veratrum californicum var. californicum – from Washington to Durango..…..CLICK & SEE 

*Veratrum californicum var. caudatum (A.Heller) C.L.Hitchc. – Idaho, Washington, Oregon, N California….CLICK & SEE 

Cultivation:
Requires a deep fertile moisture retentive humus-rich soil. Succeeds in full sun if the soil does not dry out but prefers a position in semi-shade. Dislikes dry soils. Grows best in a cool woodland garden or a north facing border. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Plants are long-lived and can be left in the same position for years without attention.

Propagation:
Unless stored in damp sand at around 4°c the seed has a short viability. Where possible it is best to sow the seed in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed needs to be stratified but can be very slow to germinate. Germination can be erratic even for seed sown when it was fresh, it usually takes place within 3 – 12 months at 15°c but can be much longer. The plant produces just one seedleaf in its first year, this forms an over-wintering bulb. It takes up to 10 years for the plant to reach maturity. Sow the seed thinly so there is no need to thin or transplant them, and grow the seedlings on undisturbed in the pot for their first two years of growth. Apply a liquid feed at intervals through the growing season to ensure the plants do not become nutrient deficient. At the end of the second year plant out the dormant plants into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for a further year or two before planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in March/April or in October. Establish the plants in pots in a shaded frame before planting them out. Division is best carried out in the autumn because the plants come into growth very early in the spring. Root cuttings, 6mm long with a bud, rooted in a sandy soil in a cold frame.

Medicinal Uses:

Although a very poisonous plant, California false hellebore was often employed medicinally by a number of native North American Indian tribes who used it mainly as an external application to treat wounds etc. It also had quite a reputation as a contraceptive. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism. Any use of this plant, especially internal use, should be carried out with great care and preferably only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The root is analgesic, disinfectant and febrifuge. A decoction has been used in the treatment of venereal disease. The roots have been grated then chewed and the juice swallowed as a treatment for colds. A poultice of the mashed raw root has been used as a treatment for rheumatism, boils, sores, cuts, swellings and burns. The dried and ground up root has been used as a dressing on bruises and sores. A poultice of the chewed root has been applied to rattlesnake bites to draw out the poison. The powdered root has been rubbed on the face to allay the pain of toothache. A decoction of the root has been taken orally by both men and women as a contraceptive. A dose of one teaspoon of this decoction three times a day for three weeks is said to ensure permanent sterility in women.

Use as prime material for medical drugs:
Cyclopamine extracted from V. californicum is being used in anti-cancer experimental drugs. One derivative of it, compound name IPI-926, is currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of various types of cancer, including hard-to-treat hematologic malignancies, chondrosarcoma, and pancreatic cancer. IPI-926 is the only compound in development/testing that is not fully synthetic
Other Uses:…....Disinfectant; Insecticide…….The dried and powdered root is used as an insecticide and a parasiticide. It is also effective against caterpillars and mammals so great caution is advised

Known Hazards:... All parts of the plant are highly poisonous. The flowers are poisonous to insects, including bees.
Teratogenic effects:
It is a source of jervine and cyclopamine, teratogens which can cause prolonged gestation associated with birth defects such as holoprosencephaly and cyclopia in animals such as sheep, horses, and other mammals that graze upon it. These substances inhibit the hedgehog signaling pathway.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veratrum_californicum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Veratrum+californicum

Lewisia rediviva

Botanical Name: Lewisia rediviva
Family: Portulacaceae
Genus: Lewisia
Species: L. rediviva
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Lewisia alba.

Common Names: Bitter-Root

French trappers knew the plant as racème amer (bitter root). Native American names included spetlum or spetlem, meaning “bitter”, nakamtcu (Ktanxa: naqam¢u), and mootaa-heseeotse

Habitat: Lewisia rediviva is native to western N. America – Montana to British Columbia, south to California and Colorado. It grows in   gravelly to heavy, usually dry soils. Rocky dry soils of valleys, or on foothills, stony slopes, ridges and mountain summits to about 2,500 metres.

Description:
Lewisia rediviva is a small perennial herb, growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in).It has a fleshy taproot and a simple or branched base. The flower stems are leafless, 1–3 centimetres (0.4–1.2 in) tall, bearing at the tip a whorl of 5–6 linear bracts which are 5–10 mm long. A single flower appears on each stem with 5–9 oval-shaped sepals. They range in color from whitish to deep pink or lavender. Flowering occurs from April through July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) The petals (usually about 15) are oblong in shape and are 18–35 millimetres (0.7–1.4 in) long. At maturity, the bitterroot produces egg-shaped capsules with 6–20 nearly round seeds…...CLICK   &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

Meriwether Lewis ate bitterroot in 1805 and 1806 during the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The specimens he brought back were identified and given their scientific name, Lewisia rediviva, by a German-American botanist, Frederick Pursh.

The bitterroot was selected as the Montana state flower on February 27, 1895.

Cultivation:
Requires a very well-drained gritty humus-rich deep soil in a sunny position. This species is not reliably hardy in Britain. It can withstand consistently very cold weather but does not like alternating periods of mild and cold conditions, nor does it like winter wet. The plant is very susceptible to rotting at the neck in a damp soil. The plant is easy to kill by over-watering but extremely difficult to kill by under-watering. Roots that have been dried and stored for a number of years have been known to come back into growth when moistened. The plant dies down after flowering and re-appears in September. It must be kept dry whilst dormant. It is best grown in a greenhouse or bulb frame. A very ornamental plant, it is the state flower of Montana. Very apt to hybridize with other members of this genus.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame in a very freely draining soil. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in a cold frame. One months cold stratification should improve germination, though this is still likely to be very slow. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first two winters. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in March/April. Very difficult.

Edible Uses:
Root – cooked. The root was a staple food of some native North American Indian tribes. It is said to be extremely nutritious, 50 – 80 grams being sufficient to sustain an active person for a day. The root is, however, rather small and tedious to collect in quantity. It is easiest to use when the plant is in flower in the spring, because the outer layer of the root (which is very bitter) slips off easily at this time of the year. Whilst being boiled the roots become soft and swollen and exude a pink mucilaginous substance. The root swells to about 6 times its size and resembles a jelly-like substance. The root has a good taste though a decided bitter flavour develops afterwards. If the root is stored for a year or two the bitterness is somewhat reduced[183]. The root can also be dried, ground into a powder and used as a mush or a thickener in soups etc.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is cardiac and galactogogue. An infusion of the root has been used to increase the milk flow in nursing mothers, to relieve heart pain and the pain of pleurisy and also as a blood purifier. The root has been eaten raw to counteract the effects of poison ivy rash and as a treatment for diabetes. The pounded dry root has been chewed in the treatment of sore throats. A poultice of the raw roots has been applied to sores.

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

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitterroot#cite_note-Sullivan2015-1
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lewisia+rediviva
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

Abies balsamea

Botanical Name: Abies balsamea
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Abies
Species: A. balsamea
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Common Names: Balsam Fir , Christmas tree, North American fir

Habitat ;Abies balsamea is native to most of eastern and central Canada (Newfoundland west to central British Columbia) and the northeastern United States (Minnesota east to Maine, and south in Appalachan death to West Virginia) It grows in low swampy grounds where it is often the major component of forests. Also found on well-drained hillsides.

Description:
Abies balsamea is a small to medium-size evergreen tree typically 14–20 metres (46–66 ft) tall, rarely to 27 metres (89 ft) tall, with a narrow conic crown. The bark on young trees is smooth, grey, and with resin blisters (which tend to spray when ruptured), becoming rough and fissured or scaly on old trees. The leaves are flat needle-like, 15 to 30 millimetres (½–1 in) long, dark green above often with a small patch of stomata near the tip, and two white stomatal bands below, and a slightly notched tip. They are arranged spirally on the shoot, but with the leaf bases twisted to appear in two more-or-less horizontal rows. The cones are erect, 40 to 80 millimetres (1½–3 in) long, dark purple, ripening brown and disintegrating to release the winged seeds in September…….CLICK & SEE THE  PICTURES

Varities:
There are two varieties:

*Abies balsamea var. balsamea (balsam fir) – bracts subtending seed scales short, not visible on the closed cones. Most of the species’ range.

*Abies balsamea var. phanerolepis (bracted balsam fir or Canaan fir) – bracts subtending seed scales longer, visible on the closed cone. The southeast of the species’ range, from southernmost Quebec to West Virginia. The name ‘Canaan Fir‘ derives from one of its native localities, the Canaan Valley in West Virginia. Some botanists regard this variety as a natural hybrid between balsam fir and Fraser fir (Abies fraseri), which occurs further south in the Appalachian mountains.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Christmas tree, Screen, Specimen. Prefers a good moist but not water-logged soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Very shade tolerant, especially when young, but growth is slower in dense shade. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution[1]. Prefers slightly acid conditions down to a pH of about5, though the cultivar ‘Hudsonia’ is more tolerant of alkaline conditions. Prefers growing on a north-facing slope. A shallow-rooted plant, making it vulnerable to high winds. Balsam fir is estimated to tolerate an annual precipitation of 60 to 150cm, an annual temperature range of 5 to 12°C, and a pH of 4.5 to 7.5. The balsam fir is a fast-growing tree in its native environment, but it is fairly short-lived and slow growing in Britain, becoming ungainly after about 20 years. It grows best in the Perthshire valleys of Scotland. New growth takes place from late May to the end of July. Trees are very cold hardy but are often excited into premature growth in mild winters and this new growth is susceptible to damage by late frosts. Female strobili may be wholly or partially aborted up to 6 to 8 weeks after bud burst by late spring frosts. Pollen dispersal can be reduced by adverse weather. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm in height. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance. Trees have a thin bark and are therefore susceptible to forest fires. This species is closely related to A. fraseri. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus. The cones break up on the tree and if seed is required it should be harvested before the cones break up in early autumn. Whilst the typical species is too large for most gardens, there are some named slow-growing dwarf forms that can be grown. Whilst these will not provide the resin, their leaves can be used medicinally. The leaves are strongly aromatic of balsam when crushed. The tree is sometimes grown and used as a ‘Christmas tree. Special Features: North American native, There are no flowers or blooms.
Propagation :
Seed – sow early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 – 8 weeks. Stratification is said to produce a more even germination so it is probably best to sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Stored seeds should be moist stratified 14 – 28 days at 1 – 5°C, though fresh seed may be sown in autumn without stratification, with target seedling densities in the nursery ca 450 – 500/m2, often mulched with sawdust. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored[113]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Of slow initial growth, the stock is usually outplanted as 2- to 3-year-old seedlings or 3- to 4-year-old transplants Alternatively, if you have sufficient seed, it is possible to sow in an outdoor seedbed. One report says that it is best to grow the seedlings on in the shade at a density of about 550 plants per square metre whilst another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position. Trees often self-layer in the wild, so this might be a means of increasing named varieties in cultivation.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Inner bark.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Gum; Tea.

Inner bark – cooked. It is usually dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread. Fir bark is a delight to chew in winter or early spring, slightly mucilaginous and sweetish, better raw than cooked[269]. Another report says that it is an emergency food and is only used when all else fails[183]. An aromatic resinous pitch is found in blisters in the bark[64]. When eaten raw it is delicious and chewy. Another report says that the balsam or pitch, in extreme emergency, forms a highly concentrated, though disagreeable, food[269]. An oleoresin from the pitch is used as a flavouring in sweets, baked goods, ice cream and drinks[183]. Tips of young shoots are used as a tea substitute.
Medicinal Uses:

Analgesic; Antiscorbutic; Antiseptic; Diuretic; Poultice; Stimulant; Tonic; VD.

The herb is used in Aromatherapy * Bronchitis * Christmas * Colds * Congestion * Cough * Cuts & Wounds * North American * Pain Relief * Rheumatoid_arthritis * Sore Throat

The resin obtained from the balsam fir has been used throughout the world and is a very effective antiseptic and healing agent. It is used as a healing and analgesic protective covering for burns, bruises, wounds and sores. It is also used to treat sore nipples and is said to be one of the best curatives for a sore throat. The buds, resin, and/or sap are used in folk remedies for treating cancers, corns, and warts. The resin is also antiscorbutic, diaphoretic, diuretic, stimulant and tonic. It is used internally in propriety mixtures to treat coughs and diarrhoea, though taken in excess it is purgative. A warm liquid of the gummy sap was drunk as a treatment for gonorrhoea. A tea made from the leaves is antiscorbutic. It is used in the treatment of coughs, colds and fevers. The leaves and young shoots are best harvested in the spring and dried for later use. This plant was widely used medicinally by various North American Indian tribes. The resin was used as an antiseptic healing agent applied externally to wounds, sores, bites etc., it was used as an inhalant to treat headaches and was also taken internally to treat colds, sore throats and various other complaints.

Other Uses :
Adhesive; Fibre; Gum; Kindling; Microscope; Repellent; Resin; Stuffing; Waterproofing; Wood.

CLICK   & SEE THE  PICTURES

The balsamic resin ‘Balm of Gilead’ or ‘Canada Balsam’ according to other reports is obtained during July and August from blisters in the bark or by cutting pockets in the wood. Another report says that it is a turpentine. The term Canada Balsam is a misnomer because balsams are supposed to contain benzoic and cinnamic acids, both absent from the Canada oleoresin. Turpentine is also a misnomer, implying that the oleoresin is entirely steam volatile. Actually it contains 70 – 80% resin, only 16 – 20% volatile oil. Canada Balsam yields 15 – 25% volatile oil, the resin being used for caulking and incense. It is used medicinally and in dentistry, also in the manufacture of glues, candles and as a cement for microscopes and slides – it has a high refractive index resembling that of glass. The pitch has also been used as a waterproofing material for the seams of canoes. The average yield is about 8 – 10 oz per tree. The resin is also a fixative in soaps and perfumery. “Turpentine” is usually collected during July-August by breaking the turpentine blisters into small metal cans with sharp-pointed lids. Trees are then allowed to recuperate for 1 – 2 years before being harvested again. The leaves and young branches are used as a stuffing material for pillows etc – they impart a pleasant scen and also repel moths. The leaves contain an average of 0.65% essential oil, though it can go up to 1.4% or even higher. One analysis of the essential oils reports 14.6% bornyl acetate, 36.1% b-pinene, 11.1% 3-carene, 11.1% limonene, 6.8% camphene, and 8.4% a-pinene. To harvest the oil, it would appear that the branches should be snipped off younger trees in early spring. Fifteen year old trees yield 70% more leaf oil than 110-year-old trees; oil yields are highest in January – March and September, they are lowest from April to August. A thread can be made from the roots. Wood – light, soft, coarse grained, not strong, not very durable. Weighs 24lb per cubic foot. Used mainly for pulp, it is not used much for lumber except in the manufacture of crates etc. The wood is commercially valuable for timber even though it is relatively soft, weak, and perishable. Balsam fir is used in the US for timber and plywood, and is the mainstay of the pulp wood industry in the Northeast. The wood, which is rich in pitch, burns well and can be used as a kindling.

Known Hazards: The oleoresin (Canada balsam) is reported to produce dermatitis when applied as perfume. The foliage has also induced contact dermatitis.

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

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abies_balsamea
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Abies+balsamea
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail561.php

 

Asarum canadense

Botanical Name: : Asarum canadense
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Asarum
Species: A. canadense
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Synonyms: Canada Snakeroot. Indian Ginger. Coltsfoot.

Common Names: Canada wild ginger, Wild ginger,  Canadian snakeroot and Broad-leaved asarabaccais

Habitat: Asarum canadense is native to deciduous forest in eastern North America, from the Great Plains east to the Atlantic Coast, and from southeastern Canada south to approximately the fall line in the southeastern United States. It grows on  moist rich soils in woodlands, usually on calcareous soils.  Understorey of deciduous (rarely coniferous) forests from sea level to 1300 metres.

Description:
An inconspicuous but fragrant little plant, not over 12 inches high, found growing in rich soil on roadsides and in woods. A stemless perennial, much resembling the European Asarum, but with larger leaves, provided with a short spine, leaves usually only two, kidney-shaped, borne on thin fine hairy stems, dark above and paler green under-surface, 4 to 8 inches broad, strongly veined. A solitary bell-shaped flower, dull brown or brownish purple, drooping between the two leaf stems, woolly, the inside darker than the outside and of a satiny texture, the fruit a leathery six-celled capsule. It has a yellowish creeping rootstock, slightly jointed, with thin rootlets from the joints. In commerce the rootstock is found in pieces 4 to 5 inches long, 1/8 inch thick, irregular quadrangular, brownish end wrinkled outside, whitish inside, showing a large centre pith hard and brittle, breaking with a short fracture. Odour fragrant, taste aromatic, spicy and slightly bitter–it is collected in the autumn…...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Ground cover, Massing, Rock garden, Woodland garden. Prefers a rich moist neutral to acid soil in woodland or a shady position in the rock garden. Plants are found on alkaline soils in the wild. Plants are hardy to at least -25°c. The flowers are malodorous and are pollinated by flies. Plants often self-sow when growing in a suitable position. Special Features:Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer. Stored seed will require 3 weeks cold stratification and should be sown in late winter. The seed usually germinates in the spring in 1 – 4 or more weeks at 18°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out when large enough in late spring. Division in spring or autumn. Plants are slow to increase. It is best to pot the divisions up and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly.

Edible Uses: Condiment.
The underground stem and the flowers are used as a ginger substitute. The root, especially when quite dry, has a pungent, aromatic smell like mild pepper and ginger mixed, but more strongly aromatic. The root is best harvested in autumn but is available all year round. It can be dried for later use.

Constituents: A volatile oil once largely used in perfumery, also resin, a bitter principle called asarin, mucilage, alkaloid, sugar and a substance like camphor.

The plant yields its properties to alcohol and to hot water.

Medicinal Uses:

The long rhizomes of A. canadense were used by Native Americans as a seasoning. It has similar aromatic properties to true ginger (Zingiber officinale), but should not be used as a substitute because it contains an unknown concentration of the carcinogen aristolochic acid and asarone. The distillate from the ground root is known as Canadian snakeroot oil. The odor and flavor are spicy. It has been used in many flavor preparations.

Native Americans used the plant as a medicinal herb to treat a number of ailments including dysentery, digestive problems, swollen breasts, coughs and colds, typhus, scarlet fever, nerves, sore throats, cramps, heaves, earaches, headaches, convulsions, asthma, tuberculosis, urinary disorders and venereal disease. In addition, they also used it as a stimulant, an appetite enhancer and a charm. It was also used as an admixture to strengthen other herbal preparations.

Known Hazards: The leaves are poisonous. Handling the leaves is said to cause dermatitis in some people.

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

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asarum_canadense
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/ginwil14.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Asarum+canadense

Hydrophyllum capitatum

Botanical Name : Hydrophyllum capitatum
Family: Hydrophyllaceae
Genus: Hydrophyllum
Species: H. capitatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Name : Ballhead Waterleaf or Waterleaf

Habitat :Hydrophyllum capitatum is native to Western North America from British Columbia to Utah.It naturally occurs in the western region of the United States (California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming) as well as Alberta and British Columbia in Canada.The plant is found in thickets, woodlands, and moist, open slopes, from the foothills and valleys to well up in the mountains.

Description:
Hydrophyllum capitatum is a perennial plant growing to  10-40 cm tall, loosely stiff- or partly flat-stif-hairy.Stems solitary or few, delicately attached to
the rather deep-seated and very short rhizome from which the cluster of fleshy, fibrous roots descends.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Leaves are mainly basal, few and relatively large, long-stalked, some of them attached below the ground, the
blade sometimes 10 cm wide and nearly 15 cm long, pinnatifid into 7-11 stalkless leaflets, the upper joined, the  lower ones separate. Leaflets somewhat pointed to more often blunt, with rounded, entire edges, or commonly some of them with one or two large, slightly forward-pointing, entire-edged side lobes.Flowers are several in dense, coiled heads well below the leaves, the main stalks short, seldom any of them over 5 cm long, often bent back in fruit. The 5 calyx lobes with long, stiff hairs. Corolla 5-9 mm long, white to more often lavender or purplish blue. The 5 stamens long, anthers 0.6-1.3 mm long. Flowering time is April-July.

Flowers of Hydrophyllum capitatum, has whitish to purplish blue-coiled 5 to 9cm bell-shaped corollas. Each flower also has 5 hairy calyx lobes. There are 5 long stamens per flower with anthers .6 to 1.3mm long. The flowers bloom from March to July and obtain their purple color during this season. The fruit of the Ballhead Waterleaf are capsules with 1 to 3 seeds each.

Cultivation:
Hydrophyllum capitatum grows in extremely moist and shady environments in fine or medium textured soil. This plant tends to grow in open woodlands and slopes. It is salinity intolerant and lives in an environment that ranges in pH from 6.4 to 7.8. The Ballhead Waterleaf is a perennial plant adapted to a precipitation zone that ranges from 16 to 30m/yr and a temperature of -28 Fahrenheit and higher

Edible Uses:
The Indians and settlers cooked the leaves and the roots of plants belonging to the genus Hydrophyllum, which includes the Ballhead Waterleaf, for greens. The occurrence of this in the Northeaster region of the United States provides a plausible explanation for why the plant only occurs in the Western region today.

They are best boiled in 1-2 changes of water and served with vinegar. Some tribes boiled or steamed the large and fleshy roots of ballhead waterleaf with the bulbs of yellow glacier lily.

Medicinal Uses:
The large leaves can be applied to minor wounds as a protective field dressing and have a slightly astringent quality that makes them useful in poultice form for insect bites and other minor skin irritations

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/Hydrophyllum_capitatum
http://montana.plant-life.org/species/hydro_capita.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=1921

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