Herb: Round-Leaved Wintergreen
Latin name: Pyrola rotundifolia
Family: Pyrolaceae (Wintergreen Family)
Medicinal use of Round-Leaved Wintergreen:The leaves are antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, cardiotonic, contraceptive, diuretic, poultice, sedative and tonic. A decoction is used in the treatment of skin diseases, as a gargle and a wash for the eyes. It is used internally in the treatment of epilepsy and other nervous afflictions. The leaves are harvested in mid to late summer and can be used fresh or dried. The plant contains arbutin, a proven diuretic and antibacterial agent that is used as a urinary antiseptic, this hydrolyzes in the body into the toxic hydroquinone.
Description of the plant:
(9 3/4 inch)
Habitat of the herb:Bogs, fens and woods, especially beech woods, often on limestone, and in dune slacks. Avoids acid soils.
Other uses of Round-Leaved Wintergreen:Plants can be used as a ground cover when spaced about 30cm apart each way. They are somewhat slow to settle down though, and only form a good cover when they are growing luxuriantly.
Propagation of the herb:Seed - the only information we have on this species is that it is difficult from seed and germinates infrequently. We would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Sow it into soil collected from around an established plant, only just covering the seed, and put the pot in a shady part of a cold frame. Pot up any young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle, once again using soil from around an established plant. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are large enough. You should not need to use soil from around an established plant to do this since the soil in the pot will contain the necessary micorrhiza. Division with great care in the spring. Pot up the divisions using some soil from around an established plant, grow on in a lightly shaded part of a greenhouse or frame and do not plant out until the plants are growing away vigorously.
Cultivation of Round-Leaved Wintergreen:Bogs, fens and woods, especially beech woods, often on limestone, and in dune slacks. Avoids acid soils.
Known hazards of Pyrola rotundifolia:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.