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Useful Temperate Plants

Aletris spicata

(Thunb.) Franch.

Nartheciaceae

+ Synonyms

Aletris dickinsii Franch.

Aletris farinosa (Thunb.) Thunb.

Aletris japonica Lamb.

Hypoxis farinosa Thunb.

Hypoxis spicata Thunb.

Common Name:

Aletris spicata
Drawing of the plant (Figs e - g only)
Photograph by: Flora Malesiana, vol. 9: p. 231, fig. 18 e-g (1979-1983) [L. Dutkiewicz]
Creative Commons License

General Information

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[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and possibly also a food.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

58
Title
Flora of Japan. (English translation)
Publication
 
Author
Ohwi. G.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

E. Asia - China, Japan, Philippines, ?northern Malaysia.

Habitat

Hills and low mountains in C. and S. Japan[
58
Title
Flora of Japan. (English translation)
Publication
 
Author
Ohwi. G.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
]. Forests, thicket margins, scrub, grasslands, streamsides, roadsides; at elevations from 100 - 2,900 metres in China[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.30 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

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[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
Species in this genus generally grow well in a sunny position in a moderately fertile, well-drained soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

Young leaves - cooked. A famine food, used when all else fails[
179
Title
Famine Foods listed in the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao.
Publication
 
Author
Reid. B. E.
Publisher
Southern Materials Centre; Taipei
Year
1977
ISBN
-
Description
A translation of an ancient Chinese book on edible wild foods. Fascinating.
].

Medicinal

The root is antitussive and vermifuge[
218
Title
Medicinal Plants of China
Publication
 
Author
Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S.
Publisher
Reference Publications, Inc.
Year
1985
ISBN
0-917256-20-4
Description
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

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.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2021-03-02. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Aletris+spicata>

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