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Common Name: Downy Rattlesnake Plantain
Goodyera pubescens is a Evergreen Perennial up to 0.40 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine..
Eastern N. America - Maine to Florida, west to Alberta and Quebec.
Almost any wooded habitat with acid soils, mainly on moist humus soils in shady, upland woods of hemlock, pine, oak, or maple, less frequent in lowland woods, bogs, swamps; 0 -1600 metres[
Requires a somewhat shady site and a well-drained compost of peat, leafmold and sand[
]. Does well in the woodland garden[
Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid[
This species is closely related to the British native species, G. repens[
This plant is too rare in the wild to be harvested[
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[
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.