Herb: Creeping Lady's Tresses


Latin name: Goodyera repens


Synonyms: Satyrium repens


Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)



Medicinal use of Creeping Lady's Tresses:

A cold infusion of the leaves has been used to improve the appetite and also in the treatment of colds and kidney problems. A poultice of the wilted leaves has been used to "draw out burns". The infusion can be held in the mouth as a treatment for toothache. The root and the leaves have been used in the treatment of bladder problems. The roots and the leaves have been used in the treatment of stomach problems and female disorders. A poultice of the chewed leaves, and the swallowed juice, has been used in the treatment of snake bites. The plant ooze has been used as drops to treat sore eyes.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
25 cm
(9 3/4 inch)

Flovering:
July to
August

Habitat of the herb:

Locally in pine woods, rarely under birch or on moist fixed dunes in northern Britain.

Propagation of Creeping Lady's Tresses:

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:

Locally in pine woods, rarely under birch or on moist fixed dunes in northern Britain.

Known hazards of Goodyera repens:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.