Anisodus caulescens (C.B.Clarke) Diels
Anisodus mariae Pascher
Mairella yunnanensis H.Lév.
Mandragora chinghaiensis Kuang & A.M.Lu
Mandragora tibetica Grubov
Common Name: Himalayan Mandrake
Mandragora caulescens is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a deep, often branched taproot. Unlike other members of this genus, it often forms a central stem, which is occasionally branched; the plant can grow 20 - 60cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine, and possibly as a source of compounds for the pharmaceutical industry.
All parts of the plant contain alkaloids and are poisonous[
E. Asia - southern China (Qinghai, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan), northern India (Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim), Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar
Grassy and stony slopes, open moorland, pastures and screes. Subalpine and alpine zone, especially among Rhododendron shrubs; at elevations from 2,200 - 4,900 metres[
Species in this genus generally prefer a deep humus-rich light soil and a sheltered position in full sun[
], though they also tolerate some shade[
]. Prefers a circumneutral soil[
] and dislikes chalk or gravel[
]. Plants are liable to rot in wet or ill-draining soils[
The roots contain the alkaloids hyoscine and anisodamine, which are used medicinally[
'Quishen', a Chinese herbal medicine consisting of the dried roots, is used in Yunnan and Xizang as a ginseng substitute for treating all kinds of physical weaknesses[
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Root cuttings in winter[