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Frasera speciosa - Douglas.

Common Name Green Gentian, Elkweed
Family Gentianaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards When used medicinally, large doses of the powdered root have proved fatal[155].
Habitats Dryish or dampish places[71]. Rich soils in open pine woods, aspen groves etc, 1500 - 3000 metres[155].
Range Western N. America - California to Washington.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Frasera speciosa Green Gentian, Elkweed


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Frasera speciosa Green Gentian, Elkweed

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Frasera speciosa is a BIENNIAL/PERENNIAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 3. It is in flower from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Swertia radiata. Kuntze.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root
Edible Uses:

Root[105, 106, 155, 161]. It has been reported that the N. American Indians ate the fleshy root of this plant, but caution is advised since the roots of closely related plants are used medicinally as emetics and cathartics[212]. See the notes above on toxicity.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Contraceptive  Febrifuge  Laxative  Parasiticide  Stomachic  Tonic

The whole plant is febrifuge, pectoral, laxative and tonic[155, 257]. An infusion of the dried, powdered leaves, or the root, has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea[257]. A cooled decoction of the roots has been used in the treatment of asthma, colds, digestive complaints etc[257]. An infusion of the plant has been used as a contraceptive[213]. Caution is advised in the use of this plant, see the notes above on toxicity.

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Parasiticide

The root, when ground into a powder and then mixed with oil, has been used as a parasiticide in order to kill lice[155].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Requires a moist but well-drained position and a stony peaty soil[1, 200]. Requires an acidic soil[200]. A very ornamental plant[1].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in late winter[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Frasera caroliniensisAmerican ColumboPerennial2.5 0-0  LMSNM02 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

Douglas.

Botanical References

71200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Al Schneider   Thu Jun 12 20:34:45 2003

There is some controversy about the flowering cycle of Frasera speciosa. Some authorities maintain that it is a biennial; others maintain that it is monocarpic, flowering once every 20 to 60 years. I would like to hear from anyone with detailed research on the flowering/life cycle.

Link: Southwest Colorado Wildflowers, Ferns, and Trees

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