Herb latin name: Caltha leptosepala howellii


Synonyms: Caltha biflora, Caltha howellii


Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)



Edible parts of Caltha leptosepala howellii:

Root - cooked. A survival food, used when all else fails. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Flower buds - cooked. Added to stews etc or pickled as capers. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Young leaves - cooked. Best before the plant flowers. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)

Flowering:
May to
June

Habitat of the herb:

Wet alpine and sub-alpine places. Bogs and wet ground by streams, 1500 - 3000 metres.

Propagation of Caltha leptosepala howellii:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame in late summer. Stand the pots in 2 - 3cm of water to keep the soil wet. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15C. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a tray of water in a cold frame until they are at least 15cm tall. Plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in early spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Wet alpine and sub-alpine places. Bogs and wet ground by streams, 1500 - 3000 metres.

Medicinal use of Caltha leptosepala howellii:

None known

Known hazards of Caltha leptosepala howellii:

The whole plant, but especially the older portions, contains the toxic glycoside protoanemanin - this is destroyed by heat. The sap can irritate sensitive skin.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.