Herbs & Plants

Potentilla discolor

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Botanical Name: Potentilla discolor
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Rosoideae
Genus: Potentilla
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Habitat ; Potentilla discolor is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea. It grows in virgin wilds, mountain slopes and uplands in open ground. Valleys, ravines, meadows on mountain slopes, meadows and sparse forests in China.

Potentilla discolor is a perennial herb, growing to 0.3 m (1ft). Roots robust, lower parts often enlarged and fusiform. Flowering stems erect, ascending, or subspreading, 10–45 cm tall, together with petioles densely white lanate, sometimes also villous. Radical leaves 4–20 cm including petiole; stipules brown, membranous, white villous; leaf blade with 2–4 pairs of leaflets; leaflets opposite or alternate, at intervals of 0.8–1.5 cm, adaxially dark green, oblong or oblong-lanceolate, 1–5 cm × 5–8 mm, abaxially densely white or grayish white lanate, inconspicuously veined, adaxially sparsely white lanate or glabrescent, base cuneate, broadly cuneate, or obliquely rounded, margin obtusely serrate, rarely acutely so, apex obtuse, rarely acute; cauline leaves 1 or 2; stipules green, ovate or broadly so, herbaceous, abaxially densely white lanate, margin incised dentate, rarely entire; leaf blade palmately 3–5-foliolate. Inflorescence cymose, laxly several to many flowered. Flowers 1–2 cm in diam.; pedicel 1–2.5 cm, lanate. Sepals triangular-ovate; epicalyx segments lanceolate, shorter than sepals, abaxially white lanate. Petals yellow, obovate, longer than sepals, apex rounded or emarginate. Style subterminal, base thickened, papillate; stigma slightly dilated. Achenes subreniform, ca. 1 mm wide, smooth. Flowers and fruits inbetween May–Sep.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

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 most parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Easily grown in a well-drained loam, preferring a position in full sun but tolerating shade. Prefers an alkaline soil but tolerates a slightly acid soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Seed – sow early spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Edible Uses: Root – raw or cooked. It is preferred raw.

Medicinal Uses: The root is aphrodisiac, astringent, depurative, styptic.

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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