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Melanthium virginicum - L.

Common Name Bunchflower
Family Melanthiaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards All parts of the plant are highly toxic[207].
Habitats Lowland prairies and moist open woods[228]. Bogs, marshes, wet woods, savannas, meadows, along railroads at elevations of 10 - 800 metres[270].
Range Eastern N. America - New York to Florida, Texas and Indiana.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Melanthium virginicum Bunchflower


Jeff McMillian @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Melanthium virginicum Bunchflower
Jeff McMillian @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Melanthium virginicum is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.7 m (5ft 7in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

None known

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.

Anthelmintic.

The root has been used to kill internal parasites[207].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Requires a deep fertile moisture retentive humus-rich soil[200]. Succeeds in full sun if the soil does not dry out but prefers a position in semi-shade[200]. Dislikes dry soils[42]. Grows best in a cool woodland garden or a north facing border[42]. Succeeds in acid soils in a bog garden[200].

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Propagation

Unless the seed is stored in damp sand at around 4°c it has a short viability[200]. Where possible it is best to sow the seed in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[200]. Stored seed needs to be cold stratified but can be very slow to germinate. Germination can be erratic even for seed sown when it was fresh, it usually takes place within 3 - 12 months at 15°c but can be much longer[200]. Sow the seed thinly so that it can be grown on in the pot without disturbance for the first couple of years. Give an occasional liquid feed in the growing season to ensure the plants do not become nutrient deficient. The plant produces just one seed leaf in its first year, this forms an over-wintering bulb. At the end of the second year's growth, pot up the over-wintering bulbs, placing one or two bulbs in each pot. Grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame for at least another couple of years before planting them out into their permanent positions. It takes up to 10 years for the plant to reach maturity[200]. Division in March/April or in October. Establish the plants in pots in a shaded frame before planting them out[200]. Root cuttings, 6mm long with a bud, rooted in a sandy soil in a cold frame[200].

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

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

200228270

Links / References

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

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Subject : Melanthium virginicum  
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