Related to Lily-of-the-Valley, this Lilliaceae plant can be found in moist, woodland areas of Ontario. An herbaceous perennial with arching stems and bright-green, elliptic leaves, in early summer it bears white, bell-shaped flowers that are suspended beneath its leaves. Roots are the primary parts used which contain Convallarin (also found in Lily-of-the-Valley, also Asparagin, gum, sugar, startch and pectin). It’s astringent and demulcent properties can be given in pulmonary consumption and internal bleeding in the lungs. Also useful for “female complaints”.
Caution should be taken for it’s other uses:
The flowers and roots used as snuff are celebrated for their power of inducing sneezing and thereby relieving head affections. They also had a wide vogue as aphrodisiacs, for love philtres and potions. The berries are stated to excite vomiting, and even the leaves, nausea, if chewed.
I’ve found that its growth is threatened by being out-competed by the invasive Garlic Mustard in my area. Bonus points for Latin name!