Glosocomia ovata (Benth.) Lindl.
Wahlenbergia roylei A.DC.
Codonopsis ovata is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.40 metres tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Asia - Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, northern Pakistan, northwest India
Rocks and alpine slopes of the eastern Himalayas, usually amongst shrubs, 3000 - 4200 metres[
Dormant plants are hardy to about -20°c, but this species is not easy to grow in cultivation[
]. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun[
Prefers a well-drained fertile light soil in full sun or semi shade[
]. Plants only succeed in full sun if the soil remains moist during the growing season[
]. Prefers a slightly acid soil[
This species is not as cold tolerant as most members of the genus, it is best given a good mulch in the winter[
The plant resents root disturbance and should be planted out into its permanent position as soon as possible[
It is best grown on a high bank in order to give a good view of the flowers[
]. The flowers, when inhaled near to, have the unpleasant odour of fur - likened by some to the smell of ferrets[
Plants are very susceptible to the ravages of slugs. The young shoots in spring are particularly at risk, though older growth is also eaten[
Root - cooked. It can be dried and ground into a powder[
]. A famine food, used when all else fails[
The roots and leaves are used to make a poultice for the treatment of bruises, ulcers and wounds[
Seed - surface sow in spring to early summer in an ericaceous compost in a greenhouse. Do not allow the compost to dry out. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 6 weeks at 20°c[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer and protect them from slugs until the plants are well established[
Division in spring, with care, since the plant resents root disturbance[
]. We have found it best to take small divisions that are teased out from the sides of the main clump so as to cause the least possible disturbance to the plants and to avoid having to dig up the clump. These small divisions need to be potted up and placed in light shade in a greenhouse until they are rooting well. They can be planted out into their permanent positions in the summer if they are large enough, otherwise in the following spring[