Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Rattlesnake Weed (Hieracium venosum) (w/pic)

Click image to enlarge.

There are at least four plants in America called “rattlesnake weed,” so I guess it depends where you live, which one comes to mind, if you’re a knowledgeable person on wild herbs. The species that’s growing in my backyard is Hieracium venosum, a member of the hawkweed family. I’ve seen it all my life, but never knew what it was until I looked it up yesterday. The hairy leaf stems and lower edges, and the hairy bottom veins and lower stalk confused me for a while, since the book said the leaves were very smooth. Technically, though, the flat parts of the leaf WERE very smooth, and pictures online made it much more obvious than the line drawings in my book exactly what I had on hand. It was supposedly used by Native Americans and early settlers for various medicinal purposes, including the treatment of snake bite. I remember it being mentioned in an article in the Foxfire series. I make no claims for the plant, but I did put three links below, for those who’d like to read a little on it. © 2016



Mary Ann said...

I like to look up "weeds" too, to see what we know about them. I don't know if we have a "rattlesnake weed" here in Kansas.

Lady Locust said...

I recently learned that there is an app for plant/weed identification. "I ain't even smart 'nuff to get the app yet." :) When I both have a few minutes in service and have time, I will have to look into it further. It would be so helpful at times just like you mention.

Gorges Smythe said...

Well, the distribution map shows this plant in Missouri, Mary Ann, I don't know if there's any in your state or not. There ARE three other plants with the same nickname.

Yes it would, LL.