Herbs & Plants

Fritillaria verticillata

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Botanical Name: Fritillaria verticillata
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Fritillaria
Species: F. verticillata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

*Corona verticillata (Willd.) Fisch. ex Graham
*Fritillaria albidiflora X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng
*Fritillaria albidiflora var. jimunaica (X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng) X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng
*Fritillaria albidiflora var. purpurea X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng
*Fritillaria albidiflora var. rhodanthera X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng
*Fritillaria albidiflora var. viridicaulina (X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng) X.Z.Duan & X.J.Zheng

Habitat : Fritillaria verticillata is native to Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Xinjiang, Kazakhstan, and the Altay region of Siberia. It grows on stony and dry slopes from W. Siberia eastwards. Hill thickets and gravelly meadows at elevations of 1300 – 2000 metres in NW Xinjiang, China.
Fritillaria verticillata is a BULB growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in), usually with one flower at the top, but sometimes as many as 5. Leaves are mostly in whorls, with 4-7 leaves per node, each up to 10 cm long but rarely more than 10 mm across. Flowers are nodding, bell-shaped, white or pale yellow, sometimes with purple spots.


It is in flower from Mar to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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 dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Cultivation :
Prefers a moist peaty soil in the open garden. Easily grown in a moderately fertile soil in sun or semi-shade[200]. Succeeds in drier soils and is drought tolerant when established. The scaly bulbs are best planted on their sides or surrounded in sand to prevent water collecting in their hollow crowns. Cultivated as a medicinal plant in Japan, the sub-species F. verticillata thunbergii. Baker. is most often used. (this species is now known as F. thunbergii. q.v.). Plants take 3 – 5 years to flower from seed.
Seed – best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring. Protect from frost. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible and can take a year or more to germinate. Sow the seed quite thinly to avoid the need to prick out the seedlings. Once they have germinated, give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not suffer mineral deficiency. Once they die down at the end of their second growing season, divide up the small bulbs, planting 2 – 3 to an 8cm deep pot. Grow them on for at least another year in light shade in the greenhouse before planting them out whilst dormant. Division of offsets in August. The larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out in the autumn.

Edible Uses:
Bulb – cooked or candied. The bulb is about 2cm in diameter. Young plant – cooked. Used in soups. Eating the young plant will greatly reduce the vigour of the bulb, and could even kill it. Petals and flower buds – cooked. Used in soups.

Medicinal Uses:

Antidote; Antitussive; Astringent; Cancer; Expectorant; Galactogogue.

The bulbs are antidote, antitussive, astringent, expectorant, galactogogue and purgative. They contain fritimine which diminishes excitability of respiratory centres, paralyses voluntary movement and counters effects of opium. The bulb is used internally in the treatment of coughs, bronchitis, pneumonia, feverish illnesses, abscesses etc. The bulbs also have a folk history of use against cancer of the breast and lungs in China. This remedy should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, excessive doses can cause breathing difficulties and heart failure. The bulbs are harvested in the winter whilst they are dormant and are dried for later use

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.


Herbs & Plants

Iris sanguinea

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Botanical Name : Iris sanguinea
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Limniris
Series: Sibiricae
Species: I. sanguinea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

*Iris extremorientalis Koidz.
*Iris haematophylla Fisch. [Illegitimate]
*Iris nertschinskia Lodd.
*Iris nertschinskia var. pumila Makino
*Iris orientalis Thunb. [Illegitimate]
*Iris polakii Stapf
*Iris sanguinea f. albiflora Makino
*Iris sanguinea var. coronalis Y.N.Lee
*Iris sanguinea var. sanguinea (unknown)
*Iris sanguinea f. sericiflora Y.N.Lee
*Iris sanguinea f. tetrapetala Doronkin
*Iris sibirica var. orientalis (Schrank) Baker
*Iris sibirica var. sanguinea (Donn ex Hornem.) Ker Gawl.
*Limniris sanguinea (Donn ex Hornem.) Rodion.
*Xiphion orientale Schrank

Common Name : Blood iris

Habitat: Iris sanguinea is native to E. Asia – Korea, Japan. It grows on damp meadows, sunny pond banks, mountain stream banks and hillsides around 500 metres.

Iris sanguinea is a perennial plant growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 1 m (3ft 3in). It has a thick creeping rhizome.
It has grey-green leaves that are more or less the same height as the flowering stems, but as the leaves droop, they appear shorter. The linear, narrow leaves grow between 20–60 cm long and 5-13mm wide.
It has a hollow unbranched flowering stem, that grows up to between 30 and 90 cm (12 and 35.5 in) long. The stems bear two to three flowers, at the terminal ends in early summer, between May and July.
It has three green spathes (leaves of the flower bud), that are reddish at the base, measuring 5–7 cm long and 1 cm wide. It then has a brown papery tip.


The flowers come in a range of reddish-purple shades, from blue to blue-purple, red-violet, with a rare white variants. The flowers are 6–8 cm in diameter.
It has two pairs of petals, three large sepals (outer petals), known as the ‘falls’ and three inner, smaller petals (or tepals, known as the ‘standards’). The large obovate (shaped like an egg), drooping ‘falls’ have reddish-purple veins on a white or yellowish signal. The smaller, erect obovate standards are 4–5 cm long and 1.5 cm wide.
It has perianth tube of 8–10 mm long, 3 cm long white filaments, yellow anthers, a cylindric ovary 1.5–2 cm long by 3–4 mm wide, and a reddish-purple style branches 3.5 cm long by 5 mm wide.
In July and September (after the iris has flowered), it produces a seed capsule, which is ellipsoid / cylindric in form and measures 3.5–5 cm long by 1.2–1.5 cm wide.

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

Iris sanguinea is often confused with Iris sibirica, another blue flowering Asian iris.

An easily grown plant, it prefers a humus-rich soil, succeeding in a moist border or by water. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are very cold tolerant, but they can be damaged when dormant if the soil is too moist. A very ornamental plant, there are some named varieties. Plant the bulbs out very shallowly. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first year. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division, best done in August/September after flowering but can also be done in April. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Medicinal Uses:….Expectorant……Expectorant.

Other Uses:.….Insecticide…..An insecticide is obtained from the plant. (from the root?) It is also grown as flower plant in the garden.

Known Hazards : Many plants in this genus are thought to be poisonous if ingested, so caution is advised. The roots are especially likely to be toxic. Plants can cause skin irritations and allergies in some people.

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.