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Uses

Toxic parts

The plant is poisonous in large doses[1][2], the toxin is neutralized by drying[3].

Edible uses

There are no edible uses listed for Asarum europaeum.

Material uses

A vibrant apple-green dye is obtained from plant[3][4]. A useful ground cover for a shady position so long as it is not dry[5], spreading by its roots[6].

Unknown part

Dye

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Asarabacca has a long history of herbal use dating back at least to the time of the ancient Greeks, though it is little used in modern herbalism[7].

The root, leaves and stems are cathartic, diaphoretic, emetic, errhine, sternutatory, stimulant and tonic[8][3][9][1][10][11][12]. The plant has a strong peppery taste and smell[4]. It is used in the treatment of affections of the brain, eyes, throat and mouth[8][2]. When taken as a snuff, it produces a copious flow of mucous[7]. The root is harvested in the spring and dried for later use[3]. Use with caution[10], see the notes above on toxicity.

An essential oil in the root contains 50% asarone and is 65% more toxic than peppermint oil[12]. This essential oil is the emetic and expectorant principle of the plant and is of value in the treatment of digestive tract lesions, silicosis, dry pharyngeal and laryngeal catarrh etc[12].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Soil surface

Ecological Functions

Ground cover

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer[13]. Stored seed will require 3 weeks cold stratification and should be sown in late winter[13]. The seed usually germinates in the spring in 1 - 4 or more weeks at 18°c[13]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out when large enough in late spring. Division in spring or autumn. Plants are slow to increase[14]. It is best to pot the divisions up and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly.

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



Cultivation

Prefers a rich moist neutral to acid soil in woodland or a shady position in the rock garden[15][14]. Other reports say that this plant prefers a calcareous soil[1][2][7].

Plants are hardy to at least -15°c[14]. The flowers are malodorous and are pollinated by flies[14]. The root has a pungent, aromatic smell like mild pepper and ginger mixed, but more strongly aromatic. Plants often self-sow when growing in a suitable position[14].

This plant was at one time commonly cultivated as a medicinal herb[16].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Asarum europaeum. 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 Asarum europaeum.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Asarum europaeum
Genus
Asarum
Family
Aristolochiaceae
Imported References
Edible 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
4
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
partial sun
Shade
permanent 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
    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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    "image:Illustration Asarum europaeum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Illustration Asarum europaeum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Illustration Asarum europaeum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Illustration Asarum europaeum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.3 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.3 Stary. F. Poisonous Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-35666-3 (1983-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.33.43.5 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.3 Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (1990-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Royal Horticultural Society. Ground Cover Plants. Cassells. ISBN 0-304-31089-1 (1989-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover J. M. Dent & Sons ISBN 0-460-12609-1 (1990-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.3 Stuart. M. (Editor) The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism Orbis Publishing. London. ISBN 0-85613-067-2 (1979-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.2 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.2 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.212.3 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)
    13. ? 13.013.113.2 Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 2. Thompson and Morgan. (1988-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.214.314.414.5 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    15. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    16. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)

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