Asteraceae / Aster
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See: Goldenrods, Solidago
Lore: In addition to the medical properties a tea from Goldenrod may have this species produces a tea so flavorful that it has long been used in this country as a beverage. After the Boston Tea Party Americans turned to other plants for tea and may have found that this plant produced a suitable alternative. It was at one time exported to China. (Dobelis)
Medical Uses: The Cherokees used a leaf tea for many conditions including fever, coughs, nerves, measles, female obstructions and bloody bowel discharge and tuberculosis. They prescribed a root tea for neuralgia and chewed roots for sore mouth.(Hamel/Chiltoskey) Modern herbalist still use leaf tea as a carminative (prevents flatulence) and to promote sweating. Both uses are probably valid.
Similar Species: Many Goldenrods are similar.
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