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Common Name: Yun Lian
Coptis teeta is a Evergreen Perennial up to 0.15 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Although no specific mention of toxicity has been found for this species, it belongs to a family that contains many species that are mildly toxic and so it is wise to treat this plant with some caution.
E. Asia - N. China to the temperate regions of the Himalayas.
Evergreen broad-leaved forests at elevations of 1500 - 2300 metres in NW Yunnan[
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. It is cultivated as a medicinal plant in China[
]. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Succeeds in a light moist humus-rich slightly acidic soil with a northerly aspect or light shade[
]. No more details are given but some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
The root is a pungent, very bitter, cooling herb that controls bacterial and viral infections, relaxes spasms, lowers fevers and stimulates the circulation[
]. It is locally analgesic and anaesthetic[
] and is used in Chinese medicine as a general panacea with alterative, ophthalmic and pectoral activity[
]. The root contains several compounds that are effective in inhibiting various bacteria and they are a safe and effective treatment for many ailments, such as some forms of dysentery, that are caused by bacteria[
The root is harvested in the autumn and can be used fresh or dried[
Can be grown as a ground cover plant in the peat garden[
Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in an ericaceous compost[
]. Seal the pot in a polythene bag until germination takes place, which is usually within 1 - 6 months at 10°c[
]. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible. Four weeks cold stratification may be beneficial[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a shady part of the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in mid-autumn or in spring.
Division in spring[