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lizard's tail, yerba mansa
Saururaceae - Lizard's Tail
Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve, Museum Hill
DescriptionThe green leaves are leathery, oblong, and mainly basal. It grows in moist, shady areas.
Mature Size6 inches to 1 1/2 ft.
BloomYerba mansa has a white, spiked, cone-shaped, 1 to 2 inches long inflorescence. The spike is surrounded by 4 to 8, striking, 1/2 to 1 inch long, white bracts that are often mistaken for petals. It blooms all summer.
Interesting FactsAccording to Leonora Curtin in Healing Herbs of the Upper Rio Grande, (L.S.M. Curtin 1947) that probably among the Spanish Americans of the region, no other plant enjoys so wide a medicinal fame as Yerba mansa, or has a higher repute. Both Spanish Californians and Spanish New Mexicans declare that its creeping aromatic root is applied in a tea, powder or poultice with excellent results in all manner of ailments in men and animals..
Traditional and Medicinal UsesYerba Mansa's active compound is methyleugenol, which has been used to treat irritable stomach, inflammation of mucus membranes, swollen gums and muscles, sore throat, rheumatic diseases like gout and to prevent buildup of uric acid crystals in the kidneys. This plant also has anti fungal properties and has been used to alleviate athlete's foot and diaper rash. It is said to also keep away witches.
Santa Fe Botanical Garden SitesLeonora Curtin Wetland Preserve, Museum Hill