The Wood Nymph (Moneses uniflora) is one of my very favorite Colorado wildflowers. Perhaps its appeal for me lies in its elusiveness – I’ve seen it in only two locations in all of my Rocky Mountain hikes. Not only is it hard to find, it’s also hard to photograph due to the “nodding” nature of its blooms. One has to get under it to get a proper photo and its short stature makes that an interesting endeavor.

wood nymph

wood nymph

wood nymph

Fun facts about the Wood Nymph:

  • It is also know as “Single Delight.”
  • It is circumboreal (I had to look it up… so do you).  😉
  • The flowers are reported to be quite fragrant and irresistible to bees, yet they produce no nectar. (I’ll have to smell ’em next time I see ’em)!
  • When the flower is open, the anthers hang downward. Pollen is shed in clumps of four when large bumblebees visit the flower and shake the anthers by vibration of their wings (a phenomenon called “buzz pollination”).
  • Native American tribes used Wood Nymph as a cold remedy and for skin problems.
  • Scientists have discovered that stem and leaf extracts from the plant appear to be useful antibiotics against several mycobacteria, including the organism that causes tuberculosis.

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