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

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Sarsparilla (Smilax glycophylla)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Sarsparilla
Smilax glycophylla
Smilacaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    Alterative, antiscorbutic, diuretic, pectoral, tonic[152].

  • Edible Use

    The leaves are refreshing to chew[157].

    The leaves are used as a tea substitute[2, 152, 177].

    A sugar substitute[152]. The part used is not specified.

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow March in a warm greenhouse[1]. This note probably refers to the tropical members of the genus, seeds of plants from cooler areas seem to require a period of cold stratification, some species taking 2 or more years to germinate[K]. We sow the seed of temperate species in a cold frame as soon as we receive it, and would sow the seed as soon as it is ripe if we could obtain it then[K]. When the seedlings eventually germinate, prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first year, though we normally grow them on in pots for 2 years. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in early spring as new growth begins[238]. 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. Cuttings of half-ripe shoots, July in a frame[238].
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. It tolerates temperatures down to at least -7¡c in Australian gardens[157] but this cannot be translated directly to this country due to our cooler summers and longer, colder and wetter winters. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in most soils in sun or semi-shade[200]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
Australia – New South Wales, Queensland.

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*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.