Cassine (Ilex cassine)

Tree
I. caroliniana.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Cassine
Ilex cassine
Aquifoliaceae

The plant has been used as a soap[257]. No more information is given.

Wood – soft, light, close-grained, not strong[82]. It weighs 30lb per cubic foot[235]. Of no commercial importance[229].

  • Medicinal Use

    The leaves are hypnotic and laxative[183, 192].

    A strong decoction of the plant was used by some native North American Indian tribes to induce vomiting. This was seen partly as a physical and partly a spiritual cleansing[257].

  • Edible Use

    The dried roasted leaves can be used as a tea substitute[161, 177]. Some caution is advised since it can cause dizziness and have a laxative effect[183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    Although no specific reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, the fruits of at least some members of this genus contain saponins and are slightly toxic. They can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and stupor if eaten in quantity[274].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. It can take 18 months to germinate. Stored seed generally requires two winters and a summer before it will germinate and should be sown as soon as possible in a cold frame. Scarification, followed by a warm stratification and then a cold stratification may speed up the germination time[78, 80]. The seedlings are rather slow-growing. Pot them up into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame for their first year. It is possible to plant them out into a nursery bed in late spring of the following year, but they should not be left here for more than two years since they do not like being transplanted. Alternatively, grow them on in their pots for a second season and then plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Give them a good mulch and some protection for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of almost ripe wood with a heel, August in a shaded position in a cold frame. Leave for 12 months before potting up. Layering in October. Takes 2 years.
Tolerates most soils that are not water-logged[200]. A slow-growing and generally short-lived species in the wild[229]. Resents root disturbance, especially as the plants get older[11]. It is best to place the plants into their permanent positions as soon as possible, perhaps giving some winter protection for their first year or two[K]. Flowers are produced on the current year’s growth[229]. Plants are very tolerant of pruning and can be cut right back into old wood if required[188]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
South-eastern N. America – Virginia to Florida, west to Texas.

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.