Senega Snakeroot

Polygala senega

Family: Polygalaceae
Herbaceous perennial. Native to eastern north America and Canada.  The knobby and characteristically keeled root of this plant from Saskatchewan is a stimulating expectorant, used by the Native Americans as a treatment for pneumonia.  There is a strong undercurrent of interest in growing this plant, due to continued demand and diminishing wild resources. Cultivation:  Extra care.  Sow in summer, fall, midwinter or very early spring for germination in the spring as the ground warms up.  Transplant out to moist woodlands or a shade garden.  Space plants 6 inches apart.  Grows to 1 foot tall.

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