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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Young leaves - raw or cooked[1][2][3]. A mild flavour, but the texture leaves something to be desired[K]. They have been used as a pot-herb, though they are not particularly palatable[4]. They can also be chopped up finely and added to salads[K].

Inner portion of young stems - raw[5]. Flower petals and flower buds - raw. Added to salads[6]. A nutritious starch is obtained from the root[6].

A refreshing tea is made from the flower petals[6].

Flowers

Leaves

Unknown part

Tea

Material uses

A fibre obtained from the stems is used in papermaking[7]. The fibres are about 1.9mm long. The stems are harvested in late summer, the leaves are removed and the stems are steamed until the fibres can be removed. The fibres are cooked with lye for 2 hours and then ball milled for 3 hours or pounded with mallets. The paper is light tan in colour[7].

The flowers are an alternative ingredient of 'Quick Return' herbal compost activator[8]. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost[K]. The seed contains 12% of a drying oil[9][10]. The red anthocyanin constituent of the flowers is used as a litmus[9].

A brown dye is obtained from the petals[11].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The flowers are demulcent, diuretic and emollient[4][12]. They are useful in the treatment of chest complaints[4], and a decoction is used to improve blood circulation, for the treatment of constipation, dysmenorrhoea, haemorrhage etc[13]. The flowers are harvested when they are open and are dried for later use[14].

The shoots are used to ease a difficult labour[13]. The root is astringent and demulcent[10]. It is crushed and applied as a poultice to ulcers[13]. Internally, it is used in the treatment of dysentery[10]. The roots and the flowers are used in Tibetan medicine, where they are said to have a sweet, acrid taste and a neutral potency[15]. They are used in the treatment of inflammations of the kidneys/womb, vaginal/seminal discharge, and the roots on their own are used to treat loss of appetite[15].

The seed is demulcent, diuretic and febrifuge[10].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow April/May or August/September in pots or in situ[16][14]. Easily grown from seed, which usually germinates in about 2 - 3 weeks at 20°c[17][18]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.

Division after flowering. Only use rust-free specimens. Root cuttings in December.

Basal cuttings at almost any time of year.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Alcea rosea. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Succeeds in most soils[19]. Poor soils should be enriched with organic matter[19][20]. Prefers a heavy rich soil and a sheltered sunny position[16].

Plants are hardy to about -15°c[16]. A very ornamental plant, it is usually grown as a biennial due to its susceptibility to the fungal disease 'rust'[19][16]. There are many named varieties[14].

Young plants, and also the young growth in spring, are very attractive to slugs[K].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Alcea rosea. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Alcea rosea.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Alcea rosea
Genus
Alcea
Family
Malvaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
6
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    ?
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Harris. B. C. Eat the Weeds. Pivot Health (1973-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.4 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Turner. N. J. and Szczawinski. A. Edible Wild Fruits and Nuts of Canada. National Museum of Natural Sciences (1978-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.3 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.2 Bell. L. A. Plant Fibres for Papermaking. Liliaceae Press (1988-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Bruce. M. E. Commonsense Compost Making. Faber ISBN 0-571-09990-4 (1977-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.2 Chakravarty. H. L. The Plant Wealth of Iraq. ()
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.410.5 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (1974-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.3 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.115.2 Tsarong. Tsewang. J. Tibetan Medicinal Plants Tibetan Medical Publications, India ISBN 81-900489-0-2 (1994-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.116.216.316.4 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    17. ? Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 1. Thompson and Morgan. (1987-00-00)
    18. ? Stuart. M. (Editor) The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism Orbis Publishing. London. ISBN 0-85613-067-2 (1979-00-00)
    19. ? 19.019.119.2 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    20. ? Sanders. T. W. Popular Hardy Perennials. Collingridge (1926-00-00)
    21. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-100

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