|Senecaroot flowers © SB|
But the stalks I photographed near Muenster, Saskatchewan, had a dark and distinct rosy hue — a colour I finally saw matched and mentioned in Royer-Dickinson's Plants of Alberta.
In R-D's book, this plant's name is spelled as one word: Senecaroot, so that's the way I'm using it here, although I've also seen it as two words, Seneca Root, and with variants in spelling, such as Senega Root, which makes some sense as formal name is Polygala senega.
The name is said to honour the Seneca people, who used it to heal snakebites, perhaps because of the root's resemblance to a snake — leading to its other names, Seneca Snakeroot and Rattlesnake Root. Wikipedia says the root was exported and marketed to Europe for use in pneumonia treatments, and it is still used in herbal remedies.
Some of the Senecaroot plants I found two summers ago were in a moist dip (some might call it a ditch) at the edge of a road, near a stream. Others were along the edge of a wooded area, in a patch of fertile soil with a range of other flowers — also near a drainage area. (Both pictured here were in the former location.)
|Senecaroot flower © SB|
Prairie Wildflower: Senecaroot, or Seneca RootLocation: Near Muenster, Saskatchewan.
Photo Dates: July 14, 2014