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

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Round-Leaved Wintergreen (Pyrola rotundifolia)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Round-Leaved Wintergreen
Pyrola rotundifolia
Pyrolaceae

Plants can be used as a ground cover when spaced about 30cm apart each way[208]. They are somewhat slow to settle down though, and only form a good cover when they are growing luxuriantly[208].

  • Medicinal Use

    The leaves are antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, cardiotonic, contraceptive, diuretic, poultice, sedative and tonic[4, 9, 46, 172, 176, 218, 222]. A decoction is used in the treatment of skin diseases, as a gargle and a wash for the eyes[4]. It is used internally in the treatment of epilepsy and other nervous afflictions[4]. The leaves are harvested in mid to late summer and can be used fresh or dried[9].

    The plant contains arbutin, a proven diuretic and antibacterial agent that is used as a urinary antiseptic, this hydrolyzes in the body into the toxic hydroquinone[222].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – the only information we have on this species is that it is difficult from seed and germinates infrequently[200]. We would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Sow it into soil collected from around an established plant, only just covering the seed, and put the pot in a shady part of a cold frame. Pot up any young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle, once again using soil from around an established plant. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are large enough. You should not need to use soil from around an established plant to do this since the soil in the pot will contain the necessary micorrhiza. Division with great care in the spring[1, 111]. Pot up the divisions using some soil from around an established plant, grow on in a lightly shaded part of a greenhouse or frame and do not plant out until the plants are growing away vigorously[200].
Prefers a moist sandy woodland soil[111, 200] in a cool position with partial shade[1, 11, 200]. Requires a peaty or leafy but not very acid soil that remains moist in the summer[31, 187]. Plants are hardy to at least -20¡c[187]. This is a very ornamental[1] but difficult plant to grow. It requires a mycorrhizal relationship in the soil and therefore needs to be grown initially in soil collected from around an established plant[200]. It is also very difficult from seed as well as being intolerant of root disturbance which makes division difficult[1]. The flowers have a delicious almond-like fragrance[245].
Europe, including Britain, from Iceland south and east to Spain, N. and W. Asia. N. E. N. America.

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.