Ranunculaceae / Buttercups
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Warning: All parts of the plant are irritating and toxic when eaten raw due to the presence of the protoanemonin, a volatile yellow oil. Dried plants probably do not have the irritating effect as the protoanemonin evaporates in time.
Lore: The leaves may be eaten if boiled twice (or more) changing the water each time. The buds, boiled and pickled, have been compared to capers. Because it is so irritating cattle quickly learn to avoid it.
Uses: The irritating properties have been used in external preparations to treat warts and to relieve rheumatic pain.
Ojibwas made a cough syrup from the leaf extract and maple sugar.
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