Rheumatism Root - Jeffersonia diphylla
One of its common names, twinleaf, suggest that the plant has two leaves, but there are actually more. Each leaf is divided into two nearly separate leaflets. I was too early to see the flowers, but each plant produces a single white flower. This plant is native to eastern North America and is rare - it's protected as threatened or endangered in several states.
Native Americans used the root of this plant to make tea for many illnesses. It was also used externally as a wash for rheumatism, sores, and ulcers. But, the plant is probably toxic, so it should be avoided.
Jeffersonia diphylla, which is also known as twinleaf or rheumatism root, is a small genus of herbaceous perennial plants in the family Berberidaceae. They are uncommon spring wildflowers and grow in limestone soils of rich deciduous forests. Jeffersonia was named for United States President Thomas Jefferson.