Herbs & Plants

Symplocos tinctoria

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Botanical Name : Symplocos tinctoria
Family: Symplocaceae
Genus: Symplocos
Order: Ericales

Synonyms: Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Common Names: Sweet Leaf, Common sweetleaf, Horse-sugar, Horsesugar

Habitat : Symplocos tinctoria is native to South-eastern N. America – Florida to Arkansas, north to Delaware.
It grows in woods, swamps and bottomlands. Rich moist soils, often in the shade of dense forests.

Symplocos tinctoria is an evergreen Shrub growing to 8 m (26ft 3in).Leaves are 3 to 6 in. alternate simple, lustrous dark green leaves; some leaves may remain until spring.Flowers are compact cluster of yellow to cream fluffy flowers in early spring on previous years growth; fragrant; orange to brown fruit. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)The plant is not self-fertile.


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw. Thick and downy, they have a pleasant sweet smell and taste. Chewed for their pleasantly sweet, slightly acid flavour that is refreshing and helps to ease thirst.

Medicinal Uses :

Febrifuge; Tonic.

The bitter, aromatic roots have been used as a tonic. A decoction of the scraped roots has been used in the treatment of fevers.

Other Uses:... Dye; Mordant; Wood.
A yellow dye is obtained from the leaves, the bark and the fruits. We have no specific information for this species but many species in this genus contain alum and can be used as mordants when dyeing. Wood – soft, weak, light, close grained, easily worked. It weighs 33lb per cubic foot. Used for turnery

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

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