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Medical disclaimer: always check with a physician before consuming wild plants, and make positive identification in the field using a good source such as Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West.  Michael Moore also has a glossary of medical terms in his books, and maps in later editions. )
Common Name: Russian Thistle, Tumbleweed
Latin Name:
Salsola tragus
Family: Chenopodiaceae
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SATR12 All States except Alaska, all of lower Canada.
Photos: (here)
Warnings: None (PFAF)
Appearance and Habitat:
Sandy shores, cultivated fields and waste places in Eastern N. America. Often found in non-saline sands and as a ruderale in Europe. Europe, Naturalized in Northern N. America. An annual growing to 0.5 meters (1 ft 8in)
Edible Uses: Young leaves and stems- raw or cooked. The very young shoots are chopped and eaten in salads, older shoots are cooked as greens or as salty flavoring for other foods. Seed-cooked. Roasted and used s food.
Medicinal Uses :
A poultice of the chewed plants has been applied to ant, bee and wasp stings. An infusion of the plants ashes has been used both internally and as a wash in the treatment of smallpox and influenza.
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Salsola+tragus  ********************************************
Common Name: Fireweed, Great Willow Herb, Codlins and Cream
Latin Name: Epilobium angustifolium (Chamerion angustifolium), E. coloradum, E. hirsutum, E. latifolium, E. paulustre, E. parviflorum
(This group is divided between the first Latin name, some Chamerion some Epilobium. They are also varied in flower color and form. I’ll start with all information on Epilobium/Chamerion angustifolium)

Family: Onagraceae
Range:http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CHANA2 Alaska, Washington, Montana, Minnesota, Wyoming and Colorado; all of Canada (Epilobium/Chamerion angustifolium)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CHANC All States west of the Rocky Mountains, plus Alaska, N. and S. Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, all States north of the Ohio R., Pennsylvania to Maine, W. Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee; In Canada; British Columbia to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, plus Northwest Territory.(Chamerion angustifolium, var. circumvagum )
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=EPILO Main database for Epilobium. Hawaii, all of North America except Mississippi and Florida.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=EPCO All States east of the Mississippi, except Mississippi and Florida, all States along the west bank of the Mississippi, plus N. Dakota through Texas; In Canada; Ontario through Newfoundland,New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (Epilobium coloratum).
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=EPHI Washington, Oregon, all States north of the Ohio R., Kentucky, W. Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania through Maine; In Canada; British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. (Epilobium hirsutum)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=EPLA3 All States west of the Rocky Mountains, Alaska, Vermont and Maine; In Canada; Yukon, Northwest Territory, British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, Labrador and Newfoundland. (Epilobium lactiflorum)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=EPPA Alaska, all States west of the Rocky Mountains except Arizona, plus S. Dakota, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York through Maine; All of Canada (Epilobium palustre)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=EPPA5 Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania; In Canada; British Columbia and Ontario. (Epilobium parviflorum)
Photos: (Click on Latin Name after Common Name.)

Common Name: Fireweed, (Epilobium/Chamerion angustifolium angustifolia)

Appearance and Habitat:
Narrow-leaf fireweed is a showy, clumped perennial, commonly growing 3-5 ft. tall. The erect stems are usually reddish, have numerous elongate, alternate leaves, and end in a tapering spike of rosy-purple flowers. Flowers have four petals and are 1 in. across. The seeds, which are windborne by a tuft of hairs, are produced in slender pods that open from the top downward. Fireweed is a sun-loving plant that quickly invades burned out forests to form dense masses of color. (1)Rocky ground, waste areas, woodland edges and gardens in Europe, including Britain, temperate Asia and N. America. A perennial growing to 2 m (6ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate. It is hardy to zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. (2)Fireweed grows in patches contented by underground roots. The plant can grow to 6 or 7 feet, they are erect with woody stems. The leaves are alternate along the stem and usually between 3 to 6 inches in length. The leave tops are dark green, and silvery downy below. The central vein on the leave is lighter than the rest of the above surface. The flowers are bright lavender to pink to redish pink. The flowers mature into long pods filled with feathery seeds. Fireweed grows through the west, look for it is forested areas, logged out areas, and it is one of the first plants to appear after a forest fire.(3)
Warnings: An infusion of the leaves is said to stupefy a person.(4)
Edible Uses:Leaves and young shoot tips – raw or cooked. They can be used in salads or cooked as a vegetable. When boiled they make a wholesome vegetable and are a good source of vitamins A and C. Only use the leaves when they are young. Although they are said to be edible, another report says that an infusion of them can stupefy. Young shoots – cooked. They make a good asparagus substitute. Root – raw, cooked or dried and ground into a powder. Used in spring, it has a sweet taste. Flower stalks – raw or cooked. Added to salads, they are used when the flowers are in bud. The pith of young or older stems – raw or cooked. Slightly sweet, tender and pleasing to eat, though there is not much of it. Gelatinous, it can be used as a flavouring in soups. The stems are said to be a good laxative, but are best not eaten on an empty stomach. A tea is made from the dried leaves, it is sweet and pleasant. Called ‘kaporie’ tea in Russia, it contains 10% tannin. The leaves are also used as an adulterant of China tea. (5)The young plants, and stems make an excellent pot herb. They are high in Vitamin C and Vitamin A, just steam them lightly. (6)
Medicinal Uses :
Willow herb is often used as a domestic herbal remedy, though it is little used in conventional herbalism. The herb is antispasmodic, astringent, demulcent, emollient, hypnotic, laxative and tonic. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, mucous colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. The plant is used in Germany and Austria to treat prostate problems. A poultice of the leaves is applied to mouth ulcers. An extract of the leaves has anti-inflammatory activity. An ointment made from the leaves has been used to soothe skin problems in children. A tea made from the leaves and roots is a folk remedy for dysentery and abdominal cramps. A poultice made from the peeled roots is applied to burns, skin sores, swellings, boils etc. (7)  When in bloom, gather the flowers as far down as there are still green leaves. In the field you can wrap them into 1/4 bundles and place in the shade to dry. If left un-broken they will stay strong for medicine for 2 years. Fireweed is a superior plant for reducing inflammations. It can be used both internally or externally. To make tea, bring 32 parts water to boil, remove from heat, add 1 part plant and simmer for 20-30 minutes. The tea is used to treat candida and yeast infections. The tea is rather bland and can be taken in any fair quantity. The tea will also treat diarrhea, when that diarrhea is not accompanied by fever. It helps improve the improve the colon. The tea can be used for douches and enemas. It can also be used as an infant wash for tender folds where there is inflammation. Native Americans used Fireweed for abdominal pain and painful urination. Both the leaves and root make good poultices for skin injuries, bruises and infections in general. It also treats irritable bowel syndrome, prostatitis and candidiasis.( 8 )
Foot Notes:
Foot Notes:
(2, 4, 5, 7)http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Epilobium+angustifolium
Foot Notes:
(3, 6, 8 ) Medical Plants of the Moutain West2nd Edition, by Michael Moore, pages 119-120; Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press, Copyright 2003, ISBN: 978-0-89013-454-2
Common Name: Purpleleaf Willowherb (Epilobium coloratum )

Appearance and Habitat: Low ground, springy slopes etc. Eastern N. America – Maine to Ontario, Wisconsin, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kansas. A perennial growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in).
Warnings: None
Edible Uses: The plant is said to be used for making bread. The part of the plant is not specified.
Medicinal Uses :

Common Name: Codlins and Cream (Epilobium hirsutum )

Appearance and Habitat: Stream banks, marshes, drier parts of fens etc. to 360 meters in Europe, including Britain, from Sweden south and east to N.E. and S. Africa, temperate Asia. A perennial growing to 2 m (6ft 7in). It is in flower from Jul to September.
Warnings: One report says that the plant is poisonous. Another says that it causes epileptiform convultions
Edible Uses: The leaves are used to make a tea. This is often drunk in Russia, where it is called ‘kaporie tea’. The leaves are also sometimes sucked for their salty taste. Edible leaves. No more details are given in the report but caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
Medicinal Uses :
The leaves have been used as astringents, but there are some reports of violent poisoning with epileptic-like convulsions as a result of its use.
Common Name: River Beauty (Epilobium latifolium )

Appearance and Habitat: River gravels, margins of streams and damp slopes in N. Europe to Northern N. America. A perennial growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in). It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen in August.
Warnings: None
Edible Uses:Young shoots – cooked. Used like asparagus. Very poor quality. Young leaves – raw. They become bitter with age. A good source of vitamins A and C. Flower stalks – raw or cooked. Eaten when the flowers are in bud. The dried leaves are used as a tea substitute. The core of mature stems is eaten raw. Slightly sweet, tender and pleasant tasting.
Medicinal Uses :
The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. Analgesic, antidote, anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, antirheumatic and febrifuge, it is used in the treatment of fevers and inflammations, plus also itching pimples.
Common Name: Marsh Willow Herb (Epilobium palustre )

Appearance and Habitat: Marshes, acid fens, and ditches in Europe, including Britain, north to Lapland and Iceland, temperate Asia, N. America and Greenland. A perennial growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in). Warnings: None
Edible Uses:Leaves and young shoots – cooked.
Medicinal Uses :
Common Name: Codlins and Cream (Epilobium parviflorum )

Appearance and Habitat: Stream banks, marshes, fens, etc. to 360 meters in Europe, including Britain, from Sweden south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia to India. A perennial growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It is in flower from Jul to August
Warnings: None
Edible Uses: Leaves – raw. Added to salads, they have an agreeable flavour.
Medicinal Uses :
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Epilobium+parviflorum************************Reproduced, in part, (as well as previous postings under this title) in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
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