Orchidaceae / Orchid
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This plant is still threatened by plant collectors though it can seldom be successfully transplanted.
Medical Uses: Called American Valerian after Indian Valerian (Valeriana Wallichii) which comes from India shares similar medical properties. Once commonly used to treat various nervous disorders it is a mild stimulant and is antispasmodic. Often used to treat depression related to female problems. The Cherokee used it similarly and with other plants for various other conditions. Having been almost wiped out by collectors for such medical use it is now far to rare to be used medically.
Similar Species: Pink Lady's Slipper, Cypripedium ancaule
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