Diervilla Canadensis. Bush Honeysuckle.
Nat. Ord.— Caprifoliaceae. Sex. Syst.— Pentandria Monogynia.
Root, Leaves and Twigs.
Description. — This plant, the Diervilla Trifida of Maenchausen, and sometimes called Gravelweed, is a low shrub, with a branching, pithy, stem, about two or three feet high. The leaves are from two to four inches long, by one to one and a half broad, ovate, acuminate, finely serrate, opposite, deciduous, on short petioles. The peduncles are axillary and terminal, dichotomous, and from one to three-flowered; flowers greenish-yellow. The calyx tube oblong, limb five-cleft, with two bracts; corolla twice as long as the calyx, greenish-yellow, five-cleft, funnel-shaped ; border five-cleft, spreading. Stamens five, which with the style are much exserted. Stigma capitate. Capsule oblong, alternate above, two-celled, naked, with many seeds.
History. — This is a woody shrub, growing in the United States from Canada to Carolina, in hedges and thickets, and by the sides of fences and rocks, flowering in June. The leaves, twigs, and roots are the parts used, and yield their properties to alcohol, and boiling water in infusion.
Properties and Uses. — Diuretic, astringent, and alterative. A cold infusion of the bruised leaves and twigs, used freely, has been very beneficial in inflammation of the bladder with gravelly deposit in the urine, in nephritic and calculous affections, and in gonorrhea. The root is said to be a superior article, in decoction or syrup, for the cure of syphilis. Externally, applied to erysipelas, or erysipelatous inflammations, and over the inflamed surface occasioned by the rhus, ivy or poison vine, it soon relieves the itching, burning, inflammation and swelling.
Off. Prep. — Infusum Diervillae.