In the dry woods there comes the weedy-looking plant called sanicle or black snakeroot, with its somewhat aromatic leaves and stem and its reputation for healing. Long ago when the plant was named Sanicula. the name was derived from sanus, the Latin word meaning to heal. It is not specified just what ailmenl the sanicle healed, but at one time a tonic was made of the juices from its roots and probably this brew was poured down the throats of the ailing young and old in the pioneer days of America.
Sanicula marilandica L.
May - June Woods.
The plant of sanicle is slender and rather interesting from the stand-poinl of its groups of spreading, glossy, brighl green Leaves with their deep toothing and incised veining. From the groups of leaves which grow in whorls where the stems branch, the slender flower stems jut out at graceful angles. The flowers are tiny single heads of greenish-yellow blossoms, not beautiful as one thinks of a beautiful flower, hut nevertheless completely equipped to produce seeds to perpetuate sanicle in the Illinois woods.
These seeds in late summer and autumn are among the many hitchhiking seeds which leave the parent plant, travel elsewhere by mean.- of some other creature's locomotion, and start a new colony. Sanicle has small, round, hard seeds covered with short, soft. curving prickle-. When any fabric or fur brushes past the sanicle fruits they immediately are separated from the plant and go off. Later, the seeds are dislodged from their carrier, fall to the ground and next year there are sanicle plant- in that spot.