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Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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Succeeds in most soils, preferring a sunny position. Prefers a fertile well-drained soil. Tolerates heavy clay. Requires a deep well-drained soil. Established plants tolerate drought. Plants are hardy to about -15°c. The flowers are a good source of food for bees. Many named forms have been selected for their ornamental value. The plants tend to be short-lived perennials but they can be propagated by means of root cuttings.
Seed - sow spring in pots of sandy soil. An overnight drop in temperature helps germination. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 4 weeks at 21°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in early spring. Root cuttings in autumn or early winter. Late winter is best.
Europe - Caucasus. An occasional garden escape in Britain.
The whole plant is antitussive, depurative, diaphoretic and diuretic. It is harvested when in flower and dried for later use. The dried and powdered herb is used as a poultice to treat inflammations. Use internally with caution, the plant contains the alkaloid cynoglossine which can have a paralyzing effect.
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