A prairie native of particular interest to the medicinal and edible landscape. This should not be confused with European Glycyrrhiza glabra which is the traditional flavoring of licorice candy. However, the roots of Wild, or American Licorice, are quite sweet when roasted or chewed. Plants For A Future (pfaf.org) states that “the root contains 6% glycyrrhizin, a substance that is 50 times sweeter than sugar.” They elaborate on its medicinal properties as well:
“All parts of the body are medicinal, but the roots are the most active part. This species has properties similar to other liquorices which are widely used medicinally, though this species is rather neglected in modern literature. An infusion of the root is used to speed the delivery of the placenta after childbirth, it is also used to treat coughs, diarrhea, chest pains, fevers in children, stomach aches etc. It is also used as a wash or poultice on swellings. The chewed root is retained in the mouth as a treatment for toothache and sore throats. The mashed leaves are used as a poultice on sores. The leaves have been placed in the shoes to absorb moisture.”
It's a unique looking spike of flowers, with even wilder spikey seed pods. Well adapted to dry to mesic prairie plantings. Over time it will form a clonal colony from the rhizome.
2'h. Medium to Dry Soil. Full Sun. White bloom June, July.
Fall or Spring seed. Scarify.
Our seed was produced by Shooting Star Native Seeds in Spring Grove, MN.