Erect, glabrous, perinial herb with thickened roots, to 1 m tall. Leaves alternate, plamately 3-5 aleft, long-petioled, petioles of upper leaves shoter, almost sesslle, leaflets deeply divided again to lanceolate, sharply acuminate. Flowers racemose at terminal, zygomorphic, pale yellow, sometimes purplish tint ; pedicels short, densely
pubescent ; sepais 5, petal-like, the upper one clearly hooded, the other flat, the lower 2 narrower than the others; petal 2, small,hidden under the hood; stames many, over 3- celled, glaborous. Fruit of 3 follcies, sharp at tip. July-Aug.
It is hardy to zone 0. The flowers are pollinated by Bees.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by the native range of the plant it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a calcareous soil. Grows well in open woodlands. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year.
Chemical Structures :->
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Young leaves – cooked. This report should be treated with great distrust due to the poisonous nature of the genus.
Medicinal Actions & Uses.
Analgesic; Cardiotonic; Uterine tonic.
The root is used in Korea to treat chills in the legs and arms and articular pain. The root contains a number of highly toxic alkaloids that can be carditoxic, causing hypotension and arrhythmia, unless they are first allowed to degrade, usually by drying the plant. The root has been shown to be analgesic, cardiac tonic, uterine stimulant.