Bunchflower (Melanthium virginicum)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Bunchflower
Melanthium virginicum
Melanthiaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The root has been used to kill internal parasites[207].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    All parts of the plant are highly toxic[207].

Cultivation & Habitat

Unless the seed is stored in damp sand at around 4¡c it has a short viability[200]. Where possible it is best to sow the seed in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[200]. Stored seed needs to be cold stratified but can be very slow to germinate. Germination can be erratic even for seed sown when it was fresh, it usually takes place within 3 – 12 months at 15¡c but can be much longer[200]. Sow the seed thinly so that it can be grown on in the pot without disturbance for the first couple of years. Give an occasional liquid feed in the growing season to ensure the plants do not become nutrient deficient. The plant produces just one seed leaf in its first year, this forms an over-wintering bulb. At the end of the second year’s growth, pot up the over-wintering bulbs, placing one or two bulbs in each pot. Grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame for at least another couple of years before planting them out into their permanent positions. It takes up to 10 years for the plant to reach maturity[200]. Division in March/April or in October. Establish the plants in pots in a shaded frame before planting them out[200]. Root cuttings, 6mm long with a bud, rooted in a sandy soil in a cold frame[200].
Requires a deep fertile moisture retentive humus-rich soil[200]. Succeeds in full sun if the soil does not dry out but prefers a position in semi-shade[200]. Dislikes dry soils[42]. Grows best in a cool woodland garden or a north facing border[42]. Succeeds in acid soils in a bog garden[200].
Eastern N. America – New York to Florida, Texas and Indiana.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.