White Flowers of Little River Canyon National Preserve

Jacksonville State University's Little River Canyon Center

This exhibit provides a sample of the more attractive white flowering plants that have been recorded on Little River Canyon National Preserve. A more complete display of all flowering plants photographed for the Preserve is provided in the complete exhibit of " Plants of Little River Canyon National Preserve".

Yarrow produces a white flower that appears from April to November. This non-native weed is usually found growing in fields, lawns, roadsides and disturbed lands. While this plant has been used for many medicinal purposes, the belief that it could stop bleeding was most widespread. The Navajo referred to this plant as life medicine, because of it's healing properties.

Stargrass produces white flowers that appear from April to June. It is frequently found growing in dry woods, grasslands, meadows and old fields. The ground root has been used as a cure for colic, as a sedative and useful in relieving stomach pains.

Little River Onion produces white flowers that appear from May to June. This plant is endemic to west Georgia and northeast Alabama. The onion is found growing in the edges of vegetation mats over sandstone outcrops in Alabama, and over granite outcrops in Georgia. On the Preserve, this onion is part of the sandstone outcrop rare community type.

Fly Poison produces white flowers that appear from May to July. It is usually found growing in moist to dry woodlands. The plant bulb is extremely poisonous and contains a natural insecticide. Cattle feeding on this plant have been poisoned and affected with a cerebrospinal disease called staggers.

Wood Anemone produces white flowers that appear from March to May. This plant is usually found growing in rich woodlands. The flower closes during nighttime and cloudy days to protect delicate reproductive structures when pollinators are absent.

White Milkweed produces white flowers that appear from May to June. This milkweed is usually found growing in dry uplands and woodland margins. Milkweeds are named for the milky sap in the stem, which consists of latex containing alkaloids. Most milkweeds are considered toxic to grazing livestock.

Creamy White Indigo produces yellow to white flowers that appear from March to April. This plant is often found growing in open woodlands and meadows. Indigo was used to make antiseptic poultices for gangrenous wounds.

Buttonbush produces white to yellow flowers that appear during June and July. The plant grows in low areas, and along the edges of lakes, ponds and marshes. Native Americans made tea from the bark that was used to treat a variety of ailments. The leaves of the plant are know to cause livestock poisoning.

Devil's-bit produces white flowers that appear from March to May. It is often found growing in wet meadows and deciduous woods. Devil's-bit has a long history as a medicinal plant. It was traditionally used to prevent miscarriages and improve fertility. Today, it is used to treat menstrual problems, pregnancy complaints, fertility issues, ovariam cysts, and as a diuretic.

Fringe-tree produces white flowers that appear during April and May. This tree is often found growing in moist woods, streambanks and bluffs. Native Americans used the roots and bark to treat skin inflammations, sores and wounds. In herbal medicine, the bark is used as a diuretic and for treating fever.

Elf-orpine produces white flowers that appear during April and May. Throughout this plant's range, it is restricted to sandstone and granite outcrops. On the Preserve, Elf-orpine is only found within the sandstone outcrop rare community type. During early spring when water is abundant on the outcrops, large areas are colored red by this succulent plant.

Virginia Buttonweed produces white flowers that appear from June to December. This plant is commonly found growing in wet ground, ditches and shorelines. Butttonweed often becomes a nuisance weed that is difficult to eradicate.

Dwarf Sundew produces white flowers that appear during April and May. These carnivorous plants are found on sandy, bare soils. On the preserve, they occur in the sandstone outcrop rare community type. Small insects are caught on mucilaginous droplets attached to slender, red leaf hairs. The insects are attracted by the red color and sticky secretions. When touched, the leaf rolls up firmly trapping the victim.

Trailing Arbutus produces a white flower that appears from February to May. This low spreading shrub is found growing in sandy, acid woods and rocky slopes. Native Americans used this plant for a wide variety of medical purposes that include the treatment of kidney disorders, to induce vomiting for abdominal pain, to treat diarrhea in children, and for the treatment of labor pains and rheumatism.

Philadelphia Daisy produces white flowers that appear from April to August. They are found growing on roadsides, fields, thickets and open woods. Native Americans used this daisy to treat menstrual problems, bad vision, as a diuretic, and as a poultice for headaches.

Strawberry Bush produces greenish whte flowers that appear during May and June. This shrub is found growing in woodlands, sandy thickets, swamps, and streambanks. Strawberry Bush is known to be a strong laxative and can cause severe diarrhea in humans. A tea made from the roots is used to treat uterine prolapse, vomiting of blood, painful urination, and stomachaches.

White Snakeroot produces a white flower that appears from August to October. This plant is usually found growing in rich woodlands. Snakeroot contains a toxin that is passed onto cattle that graze on the plant. Milk from these cattle that is consumed by humans causes severe illness and death, and is referred to as milk sickness. During the early 19th Century, milk sickness killed many thousands of people in the United States.

Downy Rattlesnake Orchid produces white flowers that appear from June to August. This plant is often found growing in dry woodlands. Native American women believed that their husband's love would strengthen by rubbing this plant on their bodies. Tea made from the leaves was also believed to improve appetite and to treat colds and kidney ailments.

Eastern Rose Mallow produces white flowers that appear from June to September. The plant is usually found growing along swamp edges, meadows and marshes. The leaves and roots of this mallow have been used as a soothing and softening agent for treating gastrointestinal disorders, lung problems and urinary ailments.

American Water Willow produces white flowers that appear from June to October. This aquatic plant forms dense colonies in shallow water of streams, rivers and lake margins. It provides important protective cover for fish, amphibians, reptiles and other wildlife.

Pale-spiked Lobelia produces white flowers that appear from May to August. This plant is found growing in meadows, glades, barrens and thickets. On the Preserve, it is encountered on the edge of the sandstone outcrop outcrop rare community type. Tea brewed from this Lobelia was used as an emetic to treat trembling.

Colonial Barbara Buttons produces white to pale-purple flowers that appear in May and June. This plant is usually found growing in low woods and streambanks. It is relatively uncommon throughout the plants range, and considered vulnerable to extirpation in Alabama by The Nature Conservancy.

Appalachian Sandwort produces delicate white flowers that appear during April and May. This sandwort is restricted to sandy rock outcrops throughout its' range. On the Preserve, it is a prominent component of the sandstone outcrop rare community type.

Partridge-berry produces white flowers that appear during May and June. This small, creeping, evergreen herb is usually found growing in rich deciduous woods on acid soils. It has medicinally been taken as a tonic to invoke general wellness. It has also be used to flavor milk.

False Garlic produces white flowers that appear from March to May. This plant is commonly found growing in fields, pastures and open woods. Although False Garlic has the appearance of an onion, it lacks any actual onion or garlic aroma.

Appalachian Mock-orange produces white flowers that appear during April and May. This shrub typically is found growing in rich forest and woodlands over calcareous or mafic rocks. It is rare throughout the plants range, and is considered threatened by land-use conversion and habitat fragmentation. Bees and other insects pollinate this shrub

Mountain-mint produces white flowers that appear from June to July. This aromatic mint is usually found growing in open woods, thickets and fields. The Choctaw made a drink from this mint to treat headaches. Other Native Americans mashed the leaves in water and drank as a treatment for laziness.

Alabama Azalea produces a white flower that appears during March and April. This azalea is usually found growing in deciduous forest on well-drained slopes. These shrubs contain antioxidants that provide medicinal value.

Lizard's-tail produces white flowers that appear from May to July. This plant forms large colonies along the edges of swamps and shallow water. It was used by Native Americans as a root poultice on infected breasts, wounds and inflammations.

Southern Slender Ladies-tresses produces white flowers that appear during August and September. This orchid is usually found growing in open woodlands and grassy areas. Native Americans used the roots as an ingredient in a good-luck charm for hunting.

Foamflower produces a white flower that appears from April to June. The plant is usually found growing in rich woodlands. Because of the plants high tannin content, it was widely used as a medicine by Native Americans. Additionally, leaves were made into tea for treating mouth sores and eye problems.

Culver's Root produces white flowers that appear from July to September. This plant is usually found growing in wet to almost dry soils, roadsides, meadows and barrens. Native Americans made a tea from the roots that was used as a laxative, cathartic, liver stimulant and diuretic.

Common Atamasca Lily produces white flowers tinged with pink during March and April. This lily is usually found growing in swampy forests. Many parts of the plant including the leaves and bulbs are considered toxic.

Credits: Story

Constructed, written and photography by Bill Garland, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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