ALAINN: “BEAUTIFUL, FINE, LOVELY”. (IRISH) OLD IRISH ÁLAIND‎

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(Polygonatum cirrhifolium)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Polygonatum cirrhifolium
Convallariaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The roots are cardiotonic, sialagogue, stimulant and tonic[218, 272].

    The roots are used in Tibetan medicine where they are said to have a sweet taste and a neutral potency[241]. Antitussive, carminative and tonic, they promote bodily heat and dry up serous fluids[241]. They are used in the treatment of loss of vigour, pain in the kidneys and hips, swelling and fullness in the abdominal region, accumulation of fluids in bone joints, skin eruptions and coughs[241].

  • Edible Use

    Tender leaves and young shoots – cooked as a vegetable[105, 272]. They can be used as an asparagus substitute.

  • Cautionary Notes

    Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, some members of this genus are believed to have poisonous fruits and seeds.

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in early autumn in a shady part of a cold greenhouse[200]. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. Germination can be slow, they may not come true to type[200] and it takes a few years for them to reach a good size. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in March or October. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.
We do not have much information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of this country. It is closely related to P. verticillatum. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a fertile humus rich moisture-retentive well-drained soil in cool shade or semi-shade[200]. Plants are intolerant of heat and drought but they tolerate most other conditions[200]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[233]. The young shoots are very attractive to slugs[K]. Hybridizes with other members of this genus[200].
E. Asia – China to the Himalayas.

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.