Pterospora andromedea Nutt., also known as Pinedrops and Giant Bird’s Nest, is a part of the Wintergreen Family. It has sticky red-brown stems with hairs that run clammily along, it has no branches, and grows straight toward the sun to be about 1 to 4 feet tall. There are hardly any leaves except for the basally scales that assume a bract-like position. The flowers become a pink to cream color with racemes that are elongated and turn into little urns that droop as if sad. In the months between June and September rounded, dry fruit open from tip to base letting go of several seed with large wings to help them spread to long distances.
You can find Giant Bird’s Nest in coniferous or mixed forests in northern and southern California, all western states, Great Lakes, Midwest, New England, and Mexico.
Native Americans used this in many ways, the Cheyenne used an infusion of the Pinedrop stems and berries for helping to stop and help heal the bleeding from lungs that can occur in several different situations. A dried powder was also snuffed to stop nosebleeds. The Keres would use the plant to induce vomit if you consumed something poisonous or rancid.