Culver's root Facts

Culver's root Facts
Culver's root is herbaceous plant that belongs to the plantain family. It originates from North America. Culver's root can be found in prairies, savannas, edges of the forests, swampy meadows, areas near the rivers and on the hillsides. It grows in moist habitats, on fertile, loamy soil, exposed to direct sunlight or in the partial shade. Number of Culver's root in the wild is decreasing due to habitat loss (as a result of accelerated development of agriculture) and excessive use of herbicides. Culver's root is listed as threatened in Manitoba, Massachusetts and New York and as endangered in Vermont. People cultivate Culver's root mostly in ornamental purposes.
Interesting Culver's root Facts:
Culver's root has erect, round, smooth stem that can reach 3 to 6.5 feet in height.
Culver's root develops oval leaves with serrated edges. 3 to 7 leaves are arranged in whorls along the stem. Leaves are green colored.
Culver's root produces small, tubular white flowers arranged in the form of slender spike on top of the flowering stem. Each plant produces several spikes that can reach 8 inches in length. Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Culver's root blooms during the summer (from July to August). Flowers bloom from the bottom toward the top of spike. Flowers are odorless, but they contain a lots of nectar. Various species of bees, moths, flies, butterflies and wasps regularly visit flowers of Culver's root. Only bees are responsible for the pollination (they feed on nectar), while other insects eat pollen (they do not play role in pollination).
Fruit of Culver's root is small capsule filled with miniature seed.
Seed does not attract birds because of its small size. Thanks to light weight, seed is mostly dispersed by wind.
Culver's root propagates via seed and rhizome
Culver's root starts to produce flowers in the second year of growth when it is grown from seed.
Scientific name of Culver's root is "Veronicastrum". Name consists of two words: "Veronica" (group of plants) and "astrum" (which means "false"). Culver's root can be easily confused with veronicas, hence the name.
Culver was a physician who discovered healing properties of the root of this plant in the 18th century. That's how Culver's root got its common name.
Root of Culver's root is used in medical purposes, mostly in treatment of constipation and liver disorders today.
Native Americans used Culver's root in treatment of cough, fever and to facilitate childbirth, bowel emptying and vomiting (for the cleansing of the body).
Some cultivated varieties of Culver's root produce pale purple or pink colored spikes.
Culver's root is also used for the preparation of various floral arrangements. When it is kept properly, Culver's root has a vase life of up to 7 days.
Culver's root is perennial plant (lifespan: more than 2 years in the wild).


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