In the event you are new to wildcrafting, plant identification can sometimes prove difficult. Following are descriptions of a few of the plants which we purchase. Click on the thumbnail to view the full-size photo.
American Ginseng (Panas quinquefolius)
Other Names: Sang, Manroot, Redberry, Five Fingers.
Where Found: Rich, humus woodlands. It grows mostly on the north facing hills, but will also grow on west, east and even south hillsides.
Part Harvested: Roots, herb
Description: Perennial, growing as high as 4 feet. It usually has 5 leaflets on each leaf stalk or prong. It can have up to 8 prongs. It has tiny white flowers that turn into red berries in the Fall. It has a golden yellow color of leaves in the Fall.
Black Cohosh (Cimicifrega racemosa )
Other Names: Bugbane, Cohosh Bugbane, Black Snakeroot, Papoose Root, Rattle Root, Rattlesnake Root, Rattle Top, Yellow Ginseng, Squaw Root
Were Found:Rich Woods -- Part Harvested: Root
Description: Perennial growing up to nine feet high at top of flowering stem. Each leaf has 2-5 leaflets. The flowering stalk has white, light-yellowish flowers borne on spike that grows way above the leaf top. Roots are black in color.
Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides )
Other Names: Papoose Root, Blue Ginseng, Squaw Root, Blueberry Cohosh
Where Found: Rich Woods. -- Part Harvested: Root
Description: Perennial growing to 3 feet high with a bluish tint to the whole plant. leaves are 2-3 lobed. Flowers are yellowish-green turning into blue berries in the fall.
Bloodroot (Sanguineria canadensis)
Other Names: Red Puccoon, Puccoon, Red Indian Paint, Turmeric, Tetterwort, Snakebite, Puccoon Root, Coomroot, Pauson.
Where Found: Mostly rich, humus woods. Harvest - Root
Description: Perennial, flowering in February, March and early April. Grows to 16 inches high with a dark green leaf on top, and bottom of leaf is grayish to light green. White flowers are 1-2 inches across. The flowers fall off in 3-4 days after flowering. The root is red and if broken open emits a substance that looks like human blood.
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
Other Names: Yellowroot, Yellow Puccoon, Yellow Indian Paint, Indian Dye, Eyeroot, Ground Raspberry.
Where Found: Rich, humus woods. -- Harvest: Root, herb
Description: :Perennial growing up to 18 inches high. The plant can have 1 or 2 leaves at the top of the stem. It has small white flowers in the early stage of growth that mature into a red seed pod resembling a red raspberry.
Elm (Slippery) (Ulmus rubra)
Where Found: Moist woods mostly in valleys
Harvest: Bark, especially the inner bark.
Description: Tree, growing to 60 feet tall with oval leaves that are sharp, double-toothed edges. Leaves are sideways at base and sandpapery on top and soft on bottom. Flowers are yellowish-green turning into one-seed fruits in March - May.
Star Grub (Chamaelirium luteum )
Other Names: Fairywand, Devil's Bit, False Unicorn, Star Root, Starwort, Grubwort, Blazing Star
Where Found: Acid soil in pine barrens, upland woods, oak woods.
Part Harvested: Root
Description: Perennial growing to 24 inches high with a rosette of basal leaves on the ground. Flowers are borne at the top of stalk and are white on male plants and green on female plants.
Trillium (Trillium erectum )
Other Names: Bethroot, Nosebleed, Purple Trillium, Bumblebee Root, Birthwort, Birthroot, Bathwort, Wake Robin
Where Found: Rich humus woods mostly in the mountains
Description: Perennial growing to two-feet high with a single stem and a 3-part leaf at top. Flowers appear at top center of leaf. There are 7 kinds of this plant, all with the same medicinal use.
Virginia Snakeroot (Aristolochia serpentaria )
Other Names: Red River Snakeroot, Texas Snakeroot, Birthwort.
Where Found: Dark, moist and hilly woods
Description: Grows up to about one foot in height with shiny leaves. The flowers can be found hanging in a downward position from the stem. The root has a gingery, camphor-type smell.
Wild Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens )
Other Names: Smooth Hydrangea, Ninebar, Ninebark, Sevenbar
Where Found: Rich Woods -- Harvest: Root
Description: Perennial growing to 10 feet high with woody stems. Leaves are opposite, large ovate. Flowers are in flat-like heads at top of branches and are white.
Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa )
Other Names: Atlantic yam, devil's bones, colic root, china root
Where Found: Rich or poor woods, especially in the mountains.
Description: Perennial vine growing to 20 feet long with much veined heart-shaped leaves. Flowers are tiny and green turning to a triangular capsule.
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