Petals - raw. The petals are pleasantly aromatic, but you need to remove the bitter white base. Young shoots - raw or cooked. Peeled and eaten in spring when they are still tender. The seed is a good source of vitamin E, it can be ground and mixed with flour or added to other foods as a supplement. Be sure to remove the seed hairs. The peeled stems are used to make a beverage.The leaves are used to make a tea.
A decoction of the bark has been taken to ease the labour pains of childbirth. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been used to alleviate the pain of bee stings. A decoction of the branches, combined with chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) and red willow (Salix bonplandiana), has been used in the treatment of various women's complaints, diarrhoea and vomiting. The leaves have been placed in shoes as a protection from athletes foot.The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July in a shaded frame. Overwinter the plants in the frame and plant out in late spring. High percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth. Select pencil thick shoots in early autumn that are about 20 - 25cm long and plant them in a sheltered position outdoors or in a cold frame. The cuttings can take 12 months to establish but a high percentage of them normally succeed. Division of suckers in the dormant season. Plant them out direct into their permanent positions.Layering. Takes 12 months.
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Grows well with alliums, parsley, mignonette and lupins. Garlic planted nearby can help protect the plant from disease and insect predation. Grows badly with boxwood. A very ornamental plant, it fruits well in Britain. This plant is often wrongly grown under the name R. californica. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus.Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Problems, pests & diseases
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