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Common Name: Pennywort
Umbilicus rupestris is a Evergreen Perennial up to 0.30 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Europe, from Britain and France south and east to N. Africa and the Mediterraean.
Crevices of rocks and walls, especially in acid and damp conditions[
]. Avoids alkaline soils[
An easily grown plant, succeeding in any near neutral, gritty, moisture retentive but well-drained soil in sun or light shade[
]. Plants are often found growing on walls, even succeeding on old brick and mortar walls[
Plants are hardy to about -15°c[
A very attractive plant for the rock garden[
], the leaves often stay green all winter[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. A very acceptable mild flavour in the winter and early spring, they can be used in quantity in salads at this time[
]. The leaves become rather stronger-tasting in the summer and are not so pleasant then[
The leaves are mildly analgesic[
]. The juice and extract of the plant have an old reputation for the treatment of epilepsy[
]. The leaves are also made into a poultice and used in the treatment of piles, slight burns and scalds[
]. A decoction of the leaves is considered to be cooling and diuretic and the juice taken inwardly is said to be excellent for treating inflammations of the liver and spleen[
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer.
Division in spring. Very easy, pant them straight out into their permanent positions.