This herb grows in low wet grounds, and ponds and pools of water, as indicated by its name.
The leaves are large, round, and cleft from the edge to the stem in the centre, each lobe or portion of the leaf ending in a short, acute point; the upper surface being smooth, glassy, and without veins, and the lower surface reddish, with branching nerves.
The flowers are large and white, giving out a very delicious, sweet odor; opening to the sun in the morning, and closing at night with the setting of the sun.
The root, which is the part used as medicine, is perennial, very long, somewhat hairy, blackish, knotty, and nearly as large as a man's wrist. It is a valuable article, used internally or externally. Internally, it is a mild astringent tonic, very useful in dysentery, diarrhea, etc. Externally, it is used in poultices for biles, tumors, inflammations, etc. The powdered root given in teaspoonful doses in warm water sweetened, is almost a sure remedy for bowel complaints in children, if given in the first stages.
It is said that the fresh juice of the root, mixed with the juice of the lemon, will remove freckles, pimples, blotches, etc. from the skin.
An infusion of the root is good for sore or inflamed eyes.