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Glycyrrhiza echinata - L.

Common Name Wild Liquorice, Chinese licorice
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Muddy places by rivers[45].
Range S. Europe.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Glycyrrhiza echinata Wild Liquorice, Chinese licorice


Glycyrrhiza echinata Wild Liquorice, Chinese licorice

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Glycyrrhiza echinata is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8. It is in flower from June to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root
Edible Uses: Sweetener  Tea

Root - raw or cooked. Very fibrous, it is often boiled to extract the sugars and is a source of Russian and German liquorice[183]. It is used as a confection, a sweetener and medicinally[2, 105, 177]. A delicious sweet flavour[K]. The dried root is often used for chewing, it is especially useful for teething children and as a tooth cleaner[K]. The root contains glycyrrhizin, a substance that is 50 times sweeter than sugar. A tea made from the roots is an excellent thirst quencher.

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.
Alterative  Expectorant  Tonic

The root is alterative, expectorant and tonic. It is usually mixed with other herbs, partly at least to improve their taste[178].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Nitrogen fixer. Dynamic accumulator.

Special Uses

Dynamic accumulator  Food Forest  Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Requires a deep well cultivated fertile moisture-retentive soil for good root production[200]. Prefers a sandy soil with abundant moisture[238]. A slightly alkaline soil produces the best plants[238]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[200]. Cultivated for its medicinal root in S. Europe[50]. Unless seed is required, the plant is usually prevented from flowering so that it puts more energy into producing good quality roots[238]. A very deep-rooted plant, it can be difficult to eradicate once it is established[238]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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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

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow spring or autumn in a greenhouse[200]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on for their first winter in a greenhouse. Plant out in late spring or early summer when in active growth. Plants are rather slow to grow from seed[238]. Division of the root in spring or autumn. Each division must have at least one growth bud. Autumn divisions can either be replanted immediately or stored in clamps until the spring and then be planted out[200]. It is best to pt up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a cold frame until they are established before planting them out in the spring or summer.

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
Glycyrrhiza aspera Perennial0.3 0-0  LMSNM103
Glycyrrhiza glabraLiquorice, Cultivated licoricePerennial1.2 7-10  LMSNM444
Glycyrrhiza lepidotaAmerican LiquoricePerennial1.0 3-8  LMSNM433
Glycyrrhiza malensis Perennial0.0 0-0  LMSNM203
Glycyrrhiza uralensisGan CaoPerennial0.6 5-9  LMHSNM343
Polypodium glycyrrhizaLicorice FernFern0.5 6-9  LMHSNM12 

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

L.

Botanical References

50200

Links / References

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