Daiswa polyphylla (Sm.) Raf.
Paris marchandii H.Lév.
Paris chinensis Franch.
Daiswa chinensis (Franch.) Takht.
Paris formosana Hayata
Paris brachysepala Pamp.
Paris daiswus Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don
Paris debeauxii H.Lév.
Paris biondii Pamp.
Paris taitungensis S.S.Ying
Paris kwantungensis R.H.Miao
Paris yunnanensis Franch.
Daiswa yunnanensis (Franch.) Takht.
Paris christii H.Lév.
Paris franchetiana H.Lév.
Paris mercieri H.Lév.
Paris cavaleriei H.Lév. & Vaniot
Paris gigas H.Lév. & Vaniot
Paris aprica H.Lév.
Paris pinfaensis H.Lév.
Paris atrata H.Lév.
Daiswa birmanica Takht.
Paris bockiana Diels
Paris lancifolia Hayata
Paris hamifer H.Lév.
Paris arisanensis Hayata
Daiswa bockiana (Diels) Takht.
Daiswa lancifolia (Hayata) Takht.
Common Name: Herb Paris
Paris polyphylla is a is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a thick, creeping rhizomatous rootstock; it produces a cluster of erect, unbranched stems 10 - 100cm long topped by a whorl of usually 5 - 10 leaves and a single, terminal flower[
E. Asia - northern India, Nepal, central and southern China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam,
Broad-leaved and mixed woodlands to 3000 metres in the Himalayas[
]. Forests, bamboo forests, thickets, grassy or rocky slopes and streamsides, 100 - 3500 metres in western China[
This species is hardy to about -15°c according to one report[
], though another says that plants only succeed outdoors in southern and western Britain[
Easily grown in a moist humus-rich soil in woodland conditions, succeeding in full or partial shade[
]. Prefers a light sandy loam[
Overcollection of this plant from the wild for medicinal purposes is a cause of conservation concern[
A very variable species, with a large number of subspecies recognised[
Plants are very slow to flower from seed[
]. The individual flowers are very long-lived, lasting for up to 3 months[
]. A sweet flavour, but mawkish[
]. The seed is surrounded by a red, succulent aril[
The roots are analgesic, antiphlogistic, antipyretic, antispasmodic, antitussive, depurative, febrifuge and narcotic[
]. They posses anthelmintic properties[
]. A decoction of the roots is used in the treatment of poisonous snake bites, boils and ulcers, diphtheria and epidemic Japanese B encephalitis[
A paste of the roots is used as a poultice to treat cuts and wounds[
]. The juice of the roots has been used as an anthelmintic[
The roots have shown antibacterial action against Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, B. paratyphi, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, haemolytic streptococci, Meningococci etc[
The whole plant is febrifuge[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in late summer in light shade in a greenhouse. Sow stored seed in a greenhouse as soon as it is received. The seed is very slow to germinate. It produces a primary root about 7 months after sowing, this pulls the seed deeper into the soil. Leaves are produced about 4 months later[
]. Sow the seed thinly in fairly deep pots so that the seedlings can be grown on for their first two years without disturbance. Once they have germinated, give them a regular weak liquid feed to ensure that they do not suffer from nutrient deficiency. Once the plants are dormant at the end of their second year of growth, divide them up and put one plant in each pot. Grow them on for at least another year in a shady part of the greenhouse before planting them out into their permanent positions.