The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Wild Flower - Mouse Ear

By Thad Wiseman © 1986Mouse Ear. Illustration by Susan M. Thigpen.Mouse Ear. Illustration by Susan M. Thigpen.

Issue: March, 1986

What we know as "mouse-ear" is a compact wild plant growing from a crown of roots.

Woodland borders seem to be its home. The leaves are small and dark green, arranged along stems rising 6 inches or so above ground.

Tea, boiled from the leaves and mixed with sweet cream, was recommended as an application for poison ivy rash.

Interestingly enough, a clump became established under the chestnut oak tree in my yard and I have observed it closely. The yellow petal-like flowers come in August, making seeds that are flat and brown.

I care for my mouse-ear like it was something I set out. Now, it looks bronzy due to winter stress.