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Common Name: Sidebells Wintergreen
Orthilia secunda is a Evergreen Perennial up to 0.10 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Europe, including Britain, from Iceland south and east to the Pyrenees and Asia. N. America.
Damp coniferous woods and on damp rock ledges[
Prefers a moist sandy woodland soil[
] in a cool position with partial shade[
]. Requires a peaty or leafy but not very acid soil that remains moist in the summer[
This is a very difficult plant to grow. It requires a mycorrhizal relationship in the soil and therefore needs to be grown initially in soil collected from around an established plant[
]. It is also very difficult from seed as well as being intolerant of root disturbance which makes division difficult[
]. No more details are given.
The leaves are occasionally used as a tea[
A strong decoction of the root has been used as an eye wash[
Seed - the only information we have on this species is that it is difficult from seed and germinates infrequently[
]. We would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Sow it into soil collected from around an established plant, only just covering the seed, and put the pot in a shady part of a cold frame. Pot up any young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle, once again using soil from around an established plant. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are large enough. You should not need to use soil from around an established plant to do this since the soil in the pot will contain the necessary micorrhiza.
Division with great care in the spring[
]. Pot up the divisions using some soil from around an established plant, grow on in a lightly shaded part of a greenhouse or frame and do not plant out until the plants are growing away vigorously[