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Common Name: Bastard Toad Flax
Comandra umbellata is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.30 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Eastern N. America - Michigan to Alabama.
Dry to moist sandy well-drained soils, especially those that are acid, from sea level to the sub-alpine zone[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Requires a well-drained moisture retentive lime-free soil[
A parasitic plant obtaining at least some of its nutrients from the roots of other plants[
]. It is said to parasitize over 200 different species of plants in the wild[
Fruit - raw[
]. A sweet flavour[
The flowers are sucked by children for their sweet nectar[
An infusion of the leaves has been used to treat lung pains and laboured breathing caused by a cold or other illness[
]. The juice of the plant has been applied externally to treat cuts and sores[
Seed - stratify for 3 months at 5°c and then sow in the greenhouse in a pot with a suitable host. Plant out when it is well established close to a mature host plant[