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Pulsatilla cernua is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.20 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Although no mention has been seen for this species, at least one member of the genus is slightly toxic, the toxins being dissipated by heat or by drying the plant[
E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea.
Grassland in low mountains, C. and S. Japan. Grassy slopes in northern China[
Requires a well-drained humus-rich gritty soil and a sunny position[
]. Tolerant of alkaline soils[
This species is closely related to P. dahurica[
Large plants have a deep woody rootstock and transplant badly[
A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[
Young leaves and roots - cooked with other foods[
]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
The root is anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, astringent and sedative[
]. The root is an effective cure for bacterial and amoebic dysentery[
]. It is also used in the treatment of nose bleeds and haemorrhoids and is used externally to treat Trichomonas vaginitis[
The fresh herb is a cardiac and nervous sedative, producing a hypnotic state with a diminution of the senses followed by a paralysing action[
A constituent similar to digitalis can be extracted from the whole herb with the roots removed[
]. This is cardiotonic[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in early summer in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in about 2 - 3 weeks. Sow stored seed in late winter in a cold frame. Germination takes about 1 - 6 months at 15°c. 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 the spring.
Root cuttings, 4cm long taken in early winter, potted up in a mixture of peat and sand[
]. They can also be taken in mid summer, planted vertically in pots in a greenhouse or frame.