Monotropaceae / Indian Pipe
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Medical Uses: Both Native American healers and white doctors used this plant at least till the early twentieth century. The juice mixed with water was used as a wash for eye problems. This ophthalmic use was apparently quite common and thought highly effective. Sores on other tinder tissue were also treated with a solution. It was also considered a sedative and antispasmodic and so used to treat fits and convulsions such as occurs in epilepsy. It was considered a good substitute opium in many cases.
Similar Species: Pinesap (M.
Hypopithys) grows taller, (to 30cm (12") ) has several flowers on each stem, is usually reddish or yellow and found in
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