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

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(Smilax beyrichii)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Smilax beyrichii
Smilacaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The stem prickles have been rubbed on the skin as a counter-irritant to relieve localised pains, muscle cramps and twitching[222].

    A tea made from the leaves and stems has been used in the treatment of rheumatism and stomach problems[222].

    The wilted leaves are applied as a poultice to boils[222].

    A tea made from the roots is used to help the expelling of afterbirth[222]. Reports that the roots contain the hormone testosterone have not been confirmed, they might contain steroid precursors, however[222].

  • Edible Use

    Root – cooked. It can be dried and ground into a powder which can be used with cereal flours in making breads, soups, jellies etc[46, 61, 105, 161].

  • 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, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. This species is possibly no more than a synonym for S. auriculata[72]. 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.
South-eastern N. America – Florida to Texas, Minnesota and Ontario.

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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.