Herb: Downy Rattlesnake Plantain


Latin name: Goodyera pubescens


Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)



Medicinal use of Downy Rattlesnake Plantain:

A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of pleurisy and snakebites. A tea made from the leaves is taken to improve the appetite, as a treatment for colds, kidney ailments, rheumatism and toothaches. Externally, a poultice of the wilted leaves is used to cool burns, treat skin ulcers and relieve rheumatic joints. An ooze from the plant (this probably means the sap or the juice of the bulb) has been used as eye drops to treat sore eyes.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Perennial

Height:
40 cm
(1 foot)

Flovering:
July to
August

Habitat of the herb:

A rare plant of woodlands. Dry woods.

Propagation of Downy Rattlesnake Plantain:

Seed - surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move.

Cultivation of the herb:

A rare plant of woodlands. Dry woods.

Known hazards of Goodyera pubescens:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.