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Eriodictyon californicum - (Hook. & Arn.) Decne.

Common Name Yerba Santa, California yerba santa
Family Hydrophyllaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards Not recommended during breast feeding or pregnancy. Iron & other minerals absorption can be effected by Yerba Santa [301].
Habitats Dry mountain slopes at altitudes up to 1,200 metres[254].
Range South-western N. America - Oregon to California.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Eriodictyon californicum Yerba Santa, California yerba santa


http://flickr.com/photos/58096907%40N00/
Eriodictyon californicum Yerba Santa, California yerba santa
http://flickr.com/photos/58096907%40N00/

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Eriodictyon californicum is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2.3 m (7ft) by 2 m (6ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Eriodictyon glutinosum Benth. Eriodictyon trichocalyx A.Heller.

Habitats

 South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves
Edible Uses: Condiment  Tea

The fresh leaves are chewed for their refreshing taste and to relieve thirst[183]. An aromatic sweet tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves[183]. An extract of the leaves is used as a flavouring in baked goods, sweets, ice cream and soft drinks[183].

References

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.
Antiasthmatic  Expectorant  Pectoral  Tonic

Yerba Santa (the name means Holy weed) is a famous domestic remedy from south-western N. America where it is considered to be especially useful as an expectorant[238]. It is an ingredient of many patent cough medicines[238]. The leaves are an aromatic pleasant tasting tonic herb that reduces spasms, expels phlegm and lowers fevers[238, 254]. They are especially recommended for treating diseases of the chest and respiratory system, including asthma, and are also used in the treatment of hay fever[4, 200, 238]. A bitter tea made from the leaves has been much used as a bitter tonic and a stimulating balsamic expectorant[207, 213]. A steam bath made from the branches and leaves has been used in the treatment of rheumatism[257]. A decoction of the leaves has been used as a wash for sore areas and painful fatigued limbs[257]. A natural mouthwash is prepared by rolling the leaves into balls and allowing them to dry in the sun[213]. These are then chewed and at first have a bitter flavour but this is soon replaced by a sweetness if a drink of water is taken[213]. The leaves are harvested in the summer and dried for later use[238]. The plant has been smoked as a remedy for asthma[213].

References

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Other Uses

Weaving

The leaves have been woven into skirts and aprons[257].

Special Uses

Scented Plants

References

Cultivation details

Requires a position in full sun in a well-drained sandy soil[200]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to about -5°c[200]. It is probably best grown against a sunny wall. If the plant needs pruning to keep it within bounds, then this is best carried out in spring or early summer. Do not cut back to wood more than 2 years old[238]. This plant is remarkable for the coating of varnish-like resin that covers the upper leaf surface[200]. The foliage is very aromatic[200].

References

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse[200]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow on the young plants for at least their first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer. Give some protection from the cold for at least their first couple of winters outdoors.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

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
Eriodictyon trichocalyxHairy Yerba SantaShrub2.0 7-10  LNDM11 

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.

 

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Expert comment

Author

(Hook. & Arn.) Decne.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

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

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