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Parnassia palustris

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Parnassia palustris, commonly called marsh grass of Parnassus, northern grass-of-Parnassus, or just grass-of-Parnassus,<ref name=BSBI07>Template:Cite web</ref> and bog-star, is a flowering plant in the staff-vine family Celastraceae.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

It is the county flower of Cumberland in England, and appears on its flag.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

The name comes from ancient Greece: evidently the cattle on Mount Parnassus appreciated the plant; hence it was an "honorary grass".<ref name="plantlife">Template:Cite web</ref> The species epithet palustris is Latin for "of the marsh" and indicates its common habitat.<ref>Archibald William Smith Template:Google books</ref> It was described by the Greek physician Dioscorides, growing up a mountain in 1st century A.D.<ref name="Field"/>


It is not a grass, nor does it look like one, but grows from a short underground stem. It has long stemmed heart-shaped leaves, which are 4-12 in (10–30 cm) long. In the centre of the leaf, is the flowering stem. The stem holds a solitary white flower, blooming between July and October. The flower has 5 stamens around the centre. The flower produces a honey-like scent to attract pollinators.<ref name="Field">Template:Cite book</ref>

Range and distribution

Parnassia palustris is native to northern temperate parts of Eurasia.<ref name=DVF>Template:Cite web</ref> Found in wet moorlands and marshes of northern England and Scotland.<ref name="Field"/>


It was once used in herbal medicines, to treat disorders of the liver. Also an infusion of the leaves, (similar to a tea) was used to treat indigestion. When added to wine or water, the leaves are claimed to dissolve kidney stones.<ref name="Field"/>



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