It is native to eastern North America, primarily east of the Mississippi River, where it is widespread. It is the most broadly distributed member of the genus Collinsonia, ranging north to Quebec and south to Florida. Its natural habitat is nutrient-rich mesic forests, most often in rocky, calcareous areas.
It produces lemon-scented flowers in mid-summer, a time when little else is in bloom in densely shaded forests.
Traditional herbal use
Collinsonia canadensis was used by Native Americans to treat a variety of ailments. However, European-American settlers in North America did not often use this species after they initially discovered it, due to it lacking any conspicuous toxic qualities. It wasn't until the mid-1800s when it regained popularity as a medicinal herb.
The leaves can be brewed into tea, and the subterranean stem was once used as a diuretic, tonic, and astringent.
- "Collinsonia canadensis". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
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- "Collinsonia canadensis". County-level distribution map from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
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- Scudder; Fyfe; Felter; Locke; Webster; et al. (1904). Mundy, William (ed.). A Treatise on Collisonia canadensis (PDF). Lloyd Brothers. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-23. Retrieved 2007-05-10.
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