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Common Herb Species of the Northwest Forest

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SHRUBS

GRAMINOIDS

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Terminology | Pictorial

   
Moneses uniflora
One-flowered Wintergreen
Pyrolaceae (Wintergreen Family)

Description

General - a low, delicate, evergreen perennial from slender, creeping rhizomes; flowering stems simple; growing 3 - 10 cm tall, sometimes up to 15 cm.

One-flowered Wintergreen Leaves - appering mainly at stem base, opposite or in whorls of 3, egg-shaped to round, 1 - 2.5 cm long, thin, veiny, toothless to finely toothed.

Flowers - single, nodding atop long, leafless stalk (with 1 or 2 small bracts); white, waxy, fragrant, 1 - 2.5 cm across; 5 spreading petals; 10 stamens; large, prominent, 5-lobed stigma; appearing in mid-summer.

Fruit - spherical, erect capsules, 6 - 8 mm across; split open lengthwise from tip into 5 parts; many tiny seeds; ripening in late-summer.

Habitat

Cool, moist woodlands, often with deep moss; widespread across boreal forest and northern parkland; circumpolar.

Notes

The flowers are reported to be good for treating rashes, bunions, and corns. Simply use a cloth bandage to tie the flowers in place on the affected area. Moneses is a monotypic genus - One-flowered Wintergreen is its only species. It is worth getting down on your hands and knees to take a closer look at the beautiful waxy-looking blossoms of one-flowered wintergreen, and to smell its lovely fragrance.


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