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Vaccaria hispanica - (Mill.)Rauschert.

Common Name Cow Cockle, Cow soapwort
Family Caryophyllaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards The seeds and other parts of the plant contain saponins[218, 240]. Although toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm, they are also broken down if thoroughly heated[K]. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is not advisable to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].
Habitats A weed of cultivated fields[50].
Range C. and S. Europe, north to Belgium. An introduced and not infrequent casual in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Moist Soil Full sun
Vaccaria hispanica Cow Cockle, Cow soapwort


Vaccaria hispanica Cow Cockle, Cow soapwort

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Vaccaria hispanica is a ANNUAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

V. pyramidata. V. segetilis. V. vulgaris. Saponaria vaccaria. L.

Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Seed
Edible Uses: Condiment

Leaves - used as a condiment[177, 179, 183]. Seed - ground into a meal[179]. Rich in starch[179]. The seed contains 13.8 - 16.1% protein and 1.6 - 3.2% fat[218]. The seed also contains saponins, see notes above on toxicity[218].

References   More on Edible Uses

Composition
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Seed (Dry weight)
  • 0 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 15g; Fat: 2.5g; Carbohydrate: 0g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;
  • Reference: [ 218]
  • Notes: The report does not make it clear whether this is a zero moisture basis.

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.
Anodyne  Antiphlogistic  Antipruritic  Diuretic  Emmenagogue  Febrifuge  Galactogogue  Oxytoxic  
Styptic  Vulnerary

The seed is anodyne, discutient, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, styptic and vulnerary[147, 176, 178, 218]. A decoction is used to treat skin problems, breast tumours, menstrual problems, deficiency of lactation and sluggish labour[218]. The seeds are also taken internally as a galactogogue[218]. The flowers, leaves, roots and shoots also have the same properties[218]. The sap of the plant is said to be febrifuge and tonic[240]. It is used in the treatment of long-continued fevers of a low type[240]. The plant is used externally to cure itch[240].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Succeeds in any well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. Sometimes cultivated for its seed which is often added to wild bird foods[200]. By this means, the plant is often found as an introduced casual in Britain[200].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow April in situ[1].

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

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

(Mill.)Rauschert.

Botanical References

50200

Links / References

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Subject : Vaccaria hispanica  
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