Herbs & Plants

Galax urceolata

Botanical Name:Galax urceolata
Family: Diapensiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales
Genus: Galax
Species: G. urceolata

Synonyms : G. aphylla. non L.

Common Names: Galax, Beetleweed, Wandflower

Habitat: Galax urceolata is native to South-eastern N. America. It grows on moist open woodland, particularly in montane areas, to altitudes of 1500 metres.

Galax urceolata is an evergreen herbaceous perennial plant growing to 30–45 cm (rarely 75 cm) tall, with a rosette of leathery leaves which grow only at the base of the plant, and turn brown during winter. The leaves are a rounded cardioid (heart) shape, 2.5–7.5 cm diameter, rarely up to 15 cm, with a serrated margin with rounded “teeth”. The flowers are produced in late spring to early summer, white in color and on a single spike-like raceme 15–25 cm long on top of a 20–50 cm tall stem. Each individual flower has five petals, and is up to 4 mm or 0.15 inches in diameter. The fruit is a small capsule containing numerous seeds.


Requires a moist humus-rich lime-free soil with part day shade. Succeeds in full shade. Plants can succeed in the dry shade of trees. Succeeds in the woodland garden, large rock gardens or as an edging for shady paths. Plants like an annual mulch of pine needles or other acid organic matter each spring. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Naturalizing, Suitable for cut flowers. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 8 through 5. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of “heat days” experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form – tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. An evergreen. The plant growth habit is a runner spreading indefinitely by rhizomes or stolons. The root pattern is fibrous dividing into a large number of fine roots . The root pattern is stoloniferous rooting from creeping stems above the ground.

Medicinal Uses:
It is used in herbalism to treat cuts and kidney ailments. The plant is used for healing all kinds of wounds and cuts. An infusion of the root is used to treat kidney problems.

Other Uses:Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Rock garden, Specimen, Woodland garden. The leaves turn bronze-red in winter. Plants should be spaced about 25cm apart each way.

The leaves are often harvested for the floristry industry; concern has been expressed over excessive exploitation, and collection is now restricted in many areas. It is occasionally grown as an ornamental plant in gardens.

The independent city of Galax, Virginia, is named after this plant.

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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