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FutureStarrScirpus Atrovirens OOR
Turtlehead plants are used in natural medicine. Traditional practices create a tonic from this plant that is claimed to be beneficial for indigestion, constipation, and stimulating the appetite. It is also an anthelmintic (de-wormer) and a salve from the leaves may relieve itching and inflammation.
White Turtlehead, which is said to be very bitter, appears to have no edible uses. However, the plant, when harvested in flower and dried for later use, has a number of uses in natural medicine. A tonic derived from this plant is said to be beneficial for indigestion. It has also been used as an anti-depressant and an aid in the treatment of gallbladder problems and diseases of the liver. These claims do not appear to have been investigated scientifically. Native Americans used this plant for a variety of ailments. The Cherokee used an infusion of blooms for wounds, as a laxative, and to treat fevers; they also used it as a dietary aid to increase the appetite. The Iroquois used a decoction of roots as a liver aid. Other groups used the plant to prevent pregnancy. The green, mashed plant juice was also applied to skin sores.
White Turtlehead's value for mammals appears to be more limited. Sources conflict on its use as a browse by White-tailed Deer. Although one source claims that the foliage is bitter and usually avoided by deer and other mammalian herbivores, other studies state that it is a preferred browse species for White-tailed Deer in many riparian sites, often intensively browsed by deer.White Turtlehead has white, pink-tinged flowers, which bloom August-October. The blooms resemble the head of a turtle, thus its common name. Butterflies and hummingbirds benefit from the nectar. It is a host plant for butterflyand moth larvae (caterpillars), including Baltimore Checkerspot (Euphydryas phaeton). White Turtlehead requires moist soil, and will tolerate wet soil. Use it in borders, edges of rain gardens, shade gardens, and moist naturalized areas. (Source: www.jerseyyards.org)