Flowering Plants of the Metro Area
METROPOLITAN NATURALIST
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Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolium)

A spring wildflower. I find Dwarf Ginseng more often in the Appalachians
of Western Maryland, although it does grow east of the mountains. I
hear there is a large population in the Burtonsville, Maryland area. The
photos to the left were taken in Green Ridge State Forest. Dwarf
Ginseng is not generally used medicinally like American Ginseng and
Asian Ginseng, although it is classified in the same genus. The plant
has a round tuber, rather than the thick root of American Ginseng.
Oxeye Daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum)

The Oxeye Daisy was introduced from Europe and has become a weed
of lawns and fields. This photo was taken in my yard where the daisy
was growing as a weed in the lawn.

Sometimes called
Leucanthemum vulgare or Leucanthemum
Orysanthemum
in older texts. This plant has been used
medicinally in both the Old and New World. The fresh leaves and
flowers are also said to kill fleas, and have been applied externally for
this purpose.

Dr. Fernie discussed some medicinal uses in
HERBAL SIMPLES
APPROVED FOR MODERN USES OF CURE.
Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)

A plant of wet areas, usually growing in patches on the banks of
streams. Sometimes called touch-me-not because the ripe seed pods
burst when they are touched, flinging the seeds to scatter them around
the parent plant.

Jewelweed is used as a treatment for poison ivy and for bee stings. The
juice from the plant is applied externally to the affected area. I use it by
simply crushing a piece of the plant - stem, leaves, flowers, and all -
and mashing it on the rash or sting. A poultice might be more effective
at keeping the medicine on the affected area. I would suggest putting
the plant between a fold of gauze or cheese cloth and crushing until the
cloth is soaked. The jewelweed pad, or poultice, can be taped on the
area.

Gardeners and bird watchers may want to add this plant to the garden
for its colorful orange flowers and to attract Ruby-Throated
Hummingbirds.
Wild Grapes (Vitis sp.)

Several species of grapes are found in our area. All
have edible fruit, but most are very sour. The vine
pictured at left was photographed at the Nature
Conservancy's Nassawango Creek Preserve on the
Eastern Shore of Maryland. I believe this is the
Muscadine Grape (
Vitis rotundifolia), which is found in
swampy or wet woods on the Eastern Shore
 of Maryland and Virginia.
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click for larger image
Rough Avens (Geum virginianum)

The fruit of the Avens is one of the annoying burrs that attach
themselves to our socks and pants on a late summer hike. Small
yellow flowers become small fruit covered with clinging hairs that
grab on to our clothes and the fur of passing critters to spread the
seeds.

The root of this plant and other plants of the genus Geum were used
medicinally here and in Europe. In the United States, a tincture
(alcohol extract) or a decoction (water in which the root was boiled
for 1/2 hour) was used as a tonic and
astringent. Dr. Fernie
discussed some European medicinal uses in
HERBAL SIMPLES
APPROVED FOR MODERN USES OF CURE.
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