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Useful Temperate Plants

Bolax gummifera

(Lam.) Spreng.

Apiaceae

+ Synonyms

Azorella caespitosa Vahl

Azorella columnifer (Gand.) M.Hiroe

Azorella crassifolia Pers.

Azorella glebaria A.Gray

Azorella gummifera (Lam.) Poir.

Azorella triscuspidata Lam.

Bolax columnifer Gand.

Bolax complicata Spreng.

Bolax glebaria Comm. ex Gaudich.

Caucalis gummifera (Lam.) Lag.

Chamitis complicata Banks & Sol. ex Hook.f.

Hydrocotyle gummifera Lam.

Common Name:

Bolax gummifera
Flowering plant growing at the UBC Botanical Garden, California, USA
Photograph by: Stan Shebs
Creative Commons License
Bolax gummifera Bolax gummifera

General Information

Bolax gummifera is an evergreen, perennial plant forming a dense cushion of growth usually around 20 - 30cm in diameter, though older plants up to 120cm in diameter are known.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and possibly also as a food. A slow-growing cushion plant, it is sometimes grown as an ornamental in gardens where it can be used as a ground cover.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

69
Title
Flora of Tierra del Fuego.
Publication
 
Author
Moore. D. M.
Publisher
Anthony Nelson.
Year
1983
ISBN
0-904614-05-0
Description
Standard work for this part of S. America. Excellent details of habitat and a few notes on plant uses.

Range

Southern S. America - Argentina, Chile, Falkland Islands

Habitat

Cliffs and rocks, open scrub and heath, forest margins and clearings, feldmark; at elevations up to 900 metres[
69
Title
Flora of Tierra del Fuego.
Publication
 
Author
Moore. D. M.
Publisher
Anthony Nelson.
Year
1983
ISBN
0-904614-05-0
Description
Standard work for this part of S. America. Excellent details of habitat and a few notes on plant uses.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Perennial
Height0.30 m
Growth RateSlow
PollinatorsInsects
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Bolax gummifera is native to the southern tip of S. America and the Falkland Islands, where the climate is cool to cold temperate and the plant experiences snow and frosts with temperatures falling below -10°c.
Requires a position in full sun in a well-drained gritty humus-rich soil[
188
Title
The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Publication
 
Author
Brickell. C.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-86318-386-7
Description
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
,
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.
].
Plants rarely flower in cultivation[
188
Title
The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Publication
 
Author
Brickell. C.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-86318-386-7
Description
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
].
A dioecious species - both male and female forms must be grown if fruit and seed are required.

Edible Uses

Root - raw or roasted[
69
Title
Flora of Tierra del Fuego.
Publication
 
Author
Moore. D. M.
Publisher
Anthony Nelson.
Year
1983
ISBN
0-904614-05-0
Description
Standard work for this part of S. America. Excellent details of habitat and a few notes on plant uses.
].

Medicinal

A fragrant oleo-resin obtained from incisions made at the base of the main stem is antispasmodic and deobstruent[
4
Title
A Modern Herbal.
Publication
 
Author
Grieve.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1984
ISBN
0-14-046-440-9
Description
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
]. The crushed plant is applied externally as a dressing to treat wounds[
1107
Title
Bolax gummifera: Toxicity against Artemia sp. of Bornyl and iso-Bornyl Esters
Publication
Molecular Medicinal Chemistry, Vol 1 July-September pp 26-29
Author
Mongelli E., et al
Website
http://www.idecefyn.com.ar
Publisher
 
Year
2003
ISBN
1666-888X
Description
A report on the use of the plant in treating cancer cells
].

A methanol extract of the plant has been shown to inhibit the growth of the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus

Agroforestry Uses:

Plants can be used for ground cover. Although slow-growing, they eventually form a very dense carpet of growth[
208
Title
Plants for Ground Cover
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons
Year
1990
ISBN
0-460-12609-1
Description
An excellent detailled book on the subject, very comprehensive.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - it may be best to sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring. Stored seed should be sown in late winter in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division of rooting rosettes in the summer[
188
Title
The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Publication
 
Author
Brickell. C.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-86318-386-7
Description
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
]
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2021-04-11. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Bolax+gummifera>

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