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Common Name: Snakeroot
Liatris punctata is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.60 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Central N. America - Alberta to Manitoba, south to New Mexico and Louisiana, east to Ohio.
Grassy prairies, sagebrush prairies, rocky and gravelly ridges and slopes, roadsides, fencerows, stream banks, over granite, limestone, and sandstone, in sands, clays, gypseous clays, 100 - 1900m[
Grows well in a moderately good light soil[
].Tolerates poor soils[
]. Plants are prone to rot overwinter in wet soils[
A good bee plant.
Rodents are very fond of the tubers so the plants may require some protection[
Root - raw or cooked[
]. A sweet flavour when harvested in the spring and baked[
]. Eating the root is said to improve the appetite[
An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of stomach aches, bloody urine and women's bladder complaints[
]. The root has been chewed and the juice swallowed in the treatment of swollen testes[
]. A decoction of the roots is used as a wash for itching skin complaints[
]. A poultice of the boiled roots is applied to swellings[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in autumn in a greenhouse[
]. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in the year in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer.
Division in spring[
]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Basal cuttings taken in spring as growth commences. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.