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Common Name: Mountain Bell
Mertensia ciliata is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.80 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
South-western N. America - Oregon to New Mexico.
Streambanks, wet meadows, damp thickets and wet cliffs from the foothills to high elevations in the mountains[
Easily grown in an ordinary garden soil with some shade[
]. Requires a moist peaty soil in full sun or light shade[
Plants are hardy to about -20°c[
A very ornamental plant[
Flowers - raw[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. The leaves are rather hairy and are not so nice when eaten raw[
The plant is galactogogue[
]. An infusion has been used to increase the milk flow of nursing mothers[
An infusion of the powdered root has been used to relieve the itching caused by smallpox and measles[
Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[
]. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. Protect from direct sunlight[
]. 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.
Division, with care, in early spring or autumn[