Aletris dickinsii Franch.
Aletris farinosa (Thunb.) Thunb.
Aletris japonica Lamb.
Hypoxis farinosa Thunb.
Hypoxis spicata Thunb.
Aletris spicata is a herbaceous perennial plant producing a clump of dense rosettes of leaves 5 - 30cm long from a rhizomatous rootstock. The plant produces a flowering stem 15 - 70cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and possibly also a food.
E. Asia - China, Japan, Philippines, ?northern Malaysia.
Hills and low mountains in C. and S. Japan[
]. Forests, thicket margins, scrub, grasslands, streamsides, roadsides; at elevations from 100 - 2,900 metres in China[
Aletris spicata is found from the warm temperate zone into the tropics in southern China, it also extends from warm temperate regions of Japan to the tropics of northern Philippines[
Species in this genus generally grow well in a sunny position in a moderately fertile, well-drained soil[
Young leaves - cooked. A famine food, used when all else fails[
The root is antitussive and vermifuge[
Seed - we have no details for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in early spring. Sow the seed thinly to allow the seedlings to be grown on for their first year without potting them up, but give a liquid feed from time to time to ensure that they do not become nutrient deficient. Prick the young plants out into individual pots the following spring and grow them on in the greenhouse for the next winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer.
Division in spring.