Liliaceae / Lily
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Lore: The young shoots have been eaten much like asparagus. The root can be eaten, dried and ground into flour.
Medical Uses: A poultice of fresh root was used by American settlers and Natives alike for all types of sores and skin injuries. A root decoction was used to treat excessive menstruation, lung problems and digestive upsets. The Cherokee's used it for skin eruptions and are said to have valued it as a cosmetic. Used especially to treat rashes from plants such as Poison Ivy. There is little science to support any of these uses.
Similar Species: See: Feathery False Lily of the Vally, Maianthemum
One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.
This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.
Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Monocots / One Seed Leaf