Synonyms: Pyrola uniflora Other names: wood nymph, single delight Nomenclature: uniflora = one-flowered Nativity / Invasiveness: Montana native plant
General: perennial, evergreen herb, erect, 3-15 cm tall, usually with 1, rarely 2 bracts about midlength, from slender rhizomes.
Leaves: basal, the blades almost round, ovate-elliptic to obovate, 1-2.5 cm long, lightly to prominently small-round-toothed, gradually tapering to the stalks, these from 1/2 as long to nearly equal in length.
Flowers: single and terminal, nodding, fragrant, 1.5-2.5 cm broad, white. Sepals 5, round-tipped, about 1/4 the length of the petals, separate most of their length, usually bent back, with ragged or small-toothed edges. Petals 5, ovate-lanceolate, spreading, round-tipped, often with wavy edges. Stamens 10, bent inward. Style 2-4 mm long, straight, stigma large, lobed.
Fruits: capsule, nearly round, 6-7 mm thick, with 5 chambers.
Woods, usually moist, montane to subalpine zone, usually on rotting wood, in w and c. parts of MT. Also from AK to WA and OR, on both sides of the Cascades, and in CA, ID, NM, and in e. N. America as far as PA.
The fruit of wood nymph is said to edible, as are the seeds, raw or cooked.
A tea of the dried plant has been used in the treatment of coughs and colds. The plant has been chewed, and the juice swallowed, as a treatment for sore throat. A poultice of the leaves has been used by the Cowichan Indians to draw out the pus from boils and abscesses, to draw blisters, to help reduce swellings and also to relieve pain. The Kwakiutl Indians used a poultice of chewed or pounded plants applied to swellings and pains.
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