Adam & Eve (Aplectrum hyemale)

Identification:

Perennial; Height: 10 to 16 inches
Flower: Loose cluster of 8 to 20 greenish purple (sometimes yellow or white with purple tinge) flowers with two lips on 1 to 1-1/2 foot slender, leafless stalk; lower lip is white with purple spots, small lobe on each side and wavy in front. Leaf: Single oval basal leaf with white veins appears in fall and disappears after flowering; 4 to 6 inches long.
It sends up a pretty, upright, ribbed leaf in the fall, and this remains through the winter, dying just as the plant is about to flower. The name “Adam & Eve” comes from the fact that the old root (Adam) gives rise to the new root (Eve), and then continues to hang around. The name “Puttyroot” comes from the fact that Native Americans used the glutinous matter derived from crushing the bulb of the plant to mend broken pottery and to fasten objects together.

Other Names: Adam & Eve Root, Puttyroot.

Flowers: May – June.

Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Habitat: Rich woods. Grows as far north as southern Ontario and Quebec, east to Maine, south to Georgia, and as far west as western Arkansas and Nebraska.

Parts Used: Root.

Harvest: Root in fall.

Medicinal Properties: Analgesic; Pectoral; Poultice.

Uses: American Indians poulticed roots on boils. Root tea formerly used for bronchial troubles.

Note! Leave it be! Too rare to harvest.

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