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Common Name: False Huckleberry
Menziesia ferruginea is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 1.80 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Western N. America.
Woodland shade below 300 metres in California[
Requires a lime-free humus-rich moist soil in sun or light shade[
]. Prefers moderate shade, especially on the roots[
], but it can also succeed in full sun[
]. Grows well in a woodland garden[
Dormant plants are hardy to about -20°c[
]. The young growth in spring is susceptible to damage by late frosts but the plants are otherwise of easy cultivation[
Flowers are produced on the previous years wood[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Fruit - fresh or dried[
]. The fruit is about 5 - 7mm in diameter[
The nectar has been sucked from the flowers to sweeten the mouth[
The leaves are cardiac[
]. They have been chewed to relieve heart pain and treat stomach problems[
]. A poultice of the heated leaves has been applied to sores and swellings[
Seed - best sown in a shady position in a cold frame in the autumn[
] but it can also be sown in late winter [
]. Surface sow and do not allow the compost to become dry. Germination is variable and can take 1 - 2 months at 15°c[
]. Keep the seedlings heavily shaded and prick them out into individual pots when they are 12 months old[
]. Plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer once they are more than 15cm tall.
Cuttings of semi-ripe wood, 2 - 5cm with a heel, May/early summer in a frame. Keep them shaded. The cuttings are very slow to root but usually a good percentage will succeed[
Division in early spring just before active growth begins[