Again, Taisha is the author of today's entry:
Today's plant photographs are of Sanicula europaea, with the first photograph by Stephen Buchan (aka --- Green Light Images ---@Flickr) and the second photograph by beranekp@Flickr. Both were submitted via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool. Thank you!
This perennial herbaceous species reproduces vegetatively by rhizome cleavages (for extremely local dispersal), but it also has hooked seeds permitting long-distance dispersal through attachment to animal fur (see: Gustafsson, C. & J. Ehrlén. 2003. Effects of intraspecific and interspecific density on the demography of a perennial herb, Sanicula europaea. Oikos. 100: 317-324). Sanicula europaea is an evergreen that reaches 20-60cm in height. The basal leaves are long and petiolate, and bear teeth ending in a short stiff hair or bristle. Inflorescences of this species are considered to be false umbels, taking as long as 16 years to appear in mature plants.
Sanicula europaea has been used as a traditional medicine for treating dermatological, gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases. Air-dried leaves of Sanicula europaea have also been studied by Karagöz et al. for their apparent ability to inhibit Human Parainfluenza Virus (type 2), but the mechanisms of inhibition are yet to be determined (see: Karagöz A. et al. 1999. Antiviral activity of Sanicula europaea L. Extracts on multiplication of Human Parainfluenza Virus Type 2. Phytotherapy Research. 13: 436-438.