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Common Name: Crinkleroot
Dentaria diphylla 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 - Ontario to S. Carolina, Kentucky and Minnesota.
Rich damp woods and meadows[
An easily grown plant, preferring a rich light moist soil and a shady position[
This species is hardy to about -20°c[
Root - raw or cooked[
]. It has a crisp texture and a pleasant pungent taste[
], rather like water cress or horseradish[
]. It can be added to salads or used as a relish[
]. The root has a pungent acrid taste when first harvested, the native people cleaned the roots, heaped them on a blanket, covered them to exclude air and then left them to ferment for 4 - 5 days. After this the roots developed a sweet taste[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. The cooking water was changed once in order to remove the bitterness[
The peppery root is used as a folk remedy in the treatment of toothache[
]. It has also been chewed in the treatment of colds, an infusion drunk to treat gas and other stomach problems, and it has been made into a poultice for headaches[
A tea made from the root is gargled in the treatment of sore throat, hoarseness etc[
An infusion of the plant has been used to treat fevers in children[
]. Combined with Acorus calamus root, it has been used in the treatment of heart diseases[
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 3 weeks at 15°c[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame for the first two years, planting them out when dormant in late summer.
Division in early spring or after the plant dies down in the summer. 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 spring.