Actaea pterosperma Turcz. ex Fisch. & C.A. Mey.
Actinospora dahurica Turcz. ex Fisch. & C.A. Mey.
Actinospora pterosperma Walp.
Cimicifuga dahurica (Turcz.) Maxim.
Common Name: Xing An Sheng Ma
Actaea dahurica is a herbaceous, perennial plant producing one or more leafy stems 100cm or more tall from a thick rootstock[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
All species in this genus are more or less toxic[
E. Asia - China, Japan, Mongolia, Siberia
Forest margins, shrub thickets, forests and very dry places in valley meadows[
Prefers a moist humus rich soil and some shade[
]. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[
Grows well in a cool moist site in a woodland[
The flowers have an unusual, slightly unpleasant smell[
Unlike the hermaphrodite flowers of most members of this genus, this species has unisexual flowers[
A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes[
Young leaves - cooked[
]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
This plant is an anti-infective herb that lowers fevers and reduces pain[
]. The root is analgesic, antibacterial, antiviral, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, sedative, tonic[
]. It is used internally in the treatment of coughs, colds, headaches, gum diseases and feverish infections such as measles[
The root is harvested in the autumn and used fresh or dried[
Use with caution[
], see the notes above on toxicity.
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[
]. Only just cover the seed. It germinates in 1 - 12 months or even longer at 15°c[
]. The seed does not store well and soon loses its viability[
], stored seed may germinate better if given 6 - 8 weeks warm stratification at 15°c and then 8 weeks cold stratification[
]. Prick out the young seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer[
Division in spring or autumn[
]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring.