Root - peeled and eaten raw. This report should be treated with some caution due to possible toxicity. Young shoots - peeled and eaten raw. This report should be treated with some caution due to possible toxicity.The bark has been eaten as a delicacy by children. This report should be treated with some caution due to possible toxicity.
A black and a red dye is obtained from the fruit. A black dye is obtained from the leaves, bark and roots. An orange or yellow dye is obtained from the roots harvested in spring. A light yellow dye is obtained from the pulp of the stems. The inner bark, mixed with bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) and the inner bark of wild plum (Prunus sp.) has been used to make a yellow dye. An oil is extracted from the seeds. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke. The plant has an extensive root system and is fairly wind tolerant, though branches can be broken off in very strong winds. It is planted for soil stabilization and as a shelter screen. It can quickly establish itself in open sunny locations and so can be used as a pioneer species for establishing woodlands.Wood - soft, light, brittle.
A tea made from the bark or root bark is alterative, antiseptic, astringent, galactogogue, haemostatic, rubefacient and tonic. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, fevers, general debility, sore mouths, rectal bleeding, uterine prolapse etc. It is used as a gargle to treat sore throats and applied externally to treat excessive vaginal discharge, burns and skin eruptions. The powdered bark can be applied as a poultice to old ulcers, it is a good antiseptic. A tea made from the roots is appetizer, astringent, diuretic and emetic. An infusion is used in the treatment of colds, sore throats, painful urination, retention of urine and dysentery. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. An infusion of the green or dried branches has been used in the treatment of TB. A decoction of the branches, with the seed heads, has been used to treat itchy scalps and as a bathing water for frost-bitten limbs. The milky latex from the plant has been used as a salve on sores. A tea made from the leaves was used in the treatment of asthma, diarrhoea and stomatitis. A poultice of the leaves has been used to treat skin rashes. The leaves have been chewed to treat sore gums and they have been rubbed on the lips to treat sore lips. The berries are diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, purgative and refrigerant. They are used in the treatment of late-onset diabetes, stranguary bowel complaints, febrile diseases, dysmenorrhoea etc. They have been chewed as a remedy for bed-wetting.The blossoms have been chewed as a treatment for sore mouths. A decoction of the blossoms has been used as a mouthwash for teething children. An infusion of the blossoms has been used as an eye wash for sore eyes.
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A very hardy plant, when fully dormant it can tolerate temperatures down to at least -25°c. However, the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. A fast-growing but short-lived plant in the wild. Single-stem plants are short-lived in cultivation, but if the plants are coppiced regularly and allowed to form thickets, then they will live longer and also be more ornamental with larger leaves. Any coppicing is best carried out in early spring. It is a very ornamental plant, there are some named varieties. Closely allied to R. typhina, it hybridizes with that species where their ranges overlap. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. A good bee plant[K]. Many of the species in this genus are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species such as this one are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists.Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
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