Ranunculaceae / Buttercups
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Historical Lore: Young Native American men mixed the seeds with their smoking tobacco to give it a more pleasant aroma and this may have been considered a love charm. It was considered to possess a persuasive power and was so used in council meetings.
Medical Uses: The root tea or chewed root and sometimes the leaves, has
been used as a diuretic and to treat diarrhea and other stomach troubles. The root contains aquilegunine, berberine,
magnoflorine and other alkaloids.
Warning: The plant could be toxic if taken in large amounts especially to children.
Similar Species: European Columbine (A. vulgaris) which has shorter spurs on the flowers which
may be blue, violet, white or pink has become naturalized in some areas.
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
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves