Herbs & Plants

Cacalia atriplicifolia

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Botanical Name : Cacalia atriplicifolia
Other Scientific Names in use: Arnoglossum atriplicifolium
Family : Compositae
Genus : Cacalia
Synonyms: Arnoglossum atriplicifolium – (L.)H.E.Robins.
Common Name: pale Indian plantain

Habitat: Eastern N. America – New York to Minnesota, south to Florida and Oklahoma. Dry open woods, thickets and openings.
Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Deep Shade;

Herbaceous  Perennial growing to Height: 3 to 6 feet and    Spread: 2 to 4 feet.   White

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It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) , white in colour and are pollinated by Insects.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It requires moist soil.

Pale Indian plantain is a tall Missouri native herbaceous perennial which grows 3-6′ (less frequently to 8′) tall and typically occurs in open and rocky woodlands, thickets, slopes, wet meadows and along streams throughout the State. Features flat-topped clusters (corymbs) of tiny, white tubular flowers atop thick, rigid, leafy flowering stalks rising from the basal foliage. Blooms in summer. Fan-shaped basal leaves (to 12″ wide) are thick, leathery, and coarsely toothed and lobed, somewhat resembling very large sycamore leaves. Stems and lower leaf surfaces are covered with a grayish-white bloom hence the “pale” part of the common name. Synonymous with Arnoglossum atriplicifolium.

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a moist peaty or leafy lime-free soil in shade or semi-shade. Plants tend to be somewhat invasive, they are best suited to naturalizing in the wild or woodland garden. Pale Indian Plantain is aggressive and therefore may not be suitable for small landscape plantings.

Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in spring in a cold frame. Surface sow or only just cover the seed and do not allow the compost to dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade until they are large enough to plant out. Division in spring.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Edible Uses: Condiment.

Young leaves – cooked. Used as a potherb. The powdered leaves are used as a seasoning.

Medicinal Uses
The leaves have been used as a poultice for cuts, bruises and cancers, and also to draw out blood or poisonous materials.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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