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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Fruit - raw, cooked or made into jellies and molasses[1][2][3][4][5][6]. The fruit is smaller than a pea but is produced in quite large terminal clusters on the plant and so is easy to harvest. It has a delicious bitter-sweet flavour, suggesting bitter molasses[4][6]. The fruit is said to store well[7], it certainly hangs well on the plants and we have picked very delicious fruits in late October[K]. Rich in vitamins[8], the fruit has been used to prevent scurvy[9]. Some caution is advised since the raw fruit is said to be laxative in large quantities, though this is only if you are not used to eating this fruit[4][5][10][6]. Thorough cooking removes much of this laxative element[6].

Young leaves - raw or cooked[5]. The young shoots, as they emerge in spring, can be cooked and used as an asparagus substitute[3][4][5][10][6].

Root - cooked[4]. It should be soaked in alkaline water first to get rid of a disagreeable taste[4][5][10][6]. It can be eaten like potatoes or pickled[6].

Fruit

Leaves

Material uses

Plants can be grown as a ground cover when planted about 45cm apart each way[11].
There are no material uses listed for Smilacena racemosa.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

False spikenard was widely employed by several native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints[12]. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism.

The plant is contraceptive and haemostatic[9][12]. A decoction is used in the treatment of coughs and the spitting up of blood[12]. Half a cup of leaf tea drunk daily for a week by a woman is said to prevent conception[9][12]. a poultice of the crushed fresh leaves is applied to bleeding cuts[12]. A tea made from the roots is drunk to regulate menstrual disorders[9].

The root is analgesic, antirheumatic, appetizer, blood purifier, cathartic and tonic[12]. A decoction is said to be a very strong medicine, it is used for treating rheumatism and kidney problems and, when taken several times a day it has been used successfully in treating cancer and heart complaints[12]. The fumes from a burning root have been inhaled to treat headaches and general body pain[12]. The fumes have also been used to restore an unconscious patient and to bring an insane person back to normal[12]. The dried powdered root has been used in treating wounds[9]. A poultice of the root has been applied to the severed umbilical cord of a child in order to speed the healing process and is also used to treat cuts, swellings etc[12]. A cold infusion of the root is used as a wash for sore eyes[12].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Soil surface

Ecological Functions

Ground cover

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be very slow to germinate, often taking 18 months. Stored seed should be sown in a cold frame as soon as possible, it may take 2 years or longer to germinate. Grow the seedlings on in a shady part of a greenhouse for their first year without pricking them out, giving them liquid or foliar feeds as required to ensure that they do not become nutrient deficient. Divide the young plants up into individual pots in the autumn when they are dormant, and grow them on for at least another year in a shady part of the greenhouse. When the plants have reached a sufficient size, plant them out in the autumn whilst they are dormant. Division in spring or early autumn. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

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



Cultivation

An easy plant to grow[13], it requires a deep fertile humus rich moisture retentive soil, neutral to slightly acid, that does not dry out in the growing season, and a shady position[14]. Requires a lime-free soil[13]. It does well in a woodland garden[14].

Hardy to about -20°c[14]. Plants take a few years to become established[11].

The flowers have a gentle sweet perfume[15].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Smilacena racemosa. 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 Smilacena racemosa.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Smilacena racemosa
Genus
Smilacena
Family
Convallariaceae
Imported References
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
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











    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 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.2 Harris. B. C. Eat the Weeds. Pivot Health (1973-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.44.54.6 Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains. University of New Mexico Press ISBN 0-8623-0343-9 (1967-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.5 Kavasch. B. Native Harvests. Vintage Books ISBN 0-394-72811-4 (1979-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.46.56.66.7 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Coffey. T. The History and Folklore of North American Wild Flowers. Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-2624-6 (1993-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.59.6 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.3 McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana. Indiana University Press ISBN 0-253-28925-4 (1977-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.2 Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover J. M. Dent & Sons ISBN 0-460-12609-1 (1990-00-00)
    12. ? 12.0012.0112.0212.0312.0412.0512.0612.0712.0812.0912.1012.11 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.1 Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    15. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    16. ? Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)

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    Facts about "Smilacena racemosa"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyConvallariaceae +
    Belongs to genusSmilacena +
    Functions asGround cover +
    Has binomial nameSmilacena racemosa +
    Has common nameFalse Spikenard +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partFruit +, Leaves + and Root +
    Has edible useUnknown use +
    Has fertility typeInsects +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone4 +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has mature height1 +
    Has mature width0.6 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAnalgesic +, Antirheumatic +, Cathartic +, Contraceptive +, Emmenagogue +, Haemostatic +, Kidney +, Poultice + and Vulnerary +
    Has search namesmilacena racemosa + and false spikenard +
    Has shade tolerancePermanent shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid + and Neutral +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferencePartial sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameSmilacena racemosa +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Inhabits ecosystem nicheSoil surface +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Smilacena racemosa +, Smilacena racemosa +, Smilacena racemosa +, Smilacena racemosa +, Smilacena racemosa +, Smilacena racemosa +, Smilacena racemosa +, Smilacena racemosa +, Smilacena racemosa +, Smilacena racemosa +, Smilacena racemosa + and Smilacena racemosa +