Herb: American Columbo

Latin name: Frasera caroliniensis

Synonyms: Swertia caroliniensis

Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)

Medicinal use of American Columbo:

The powdered plant is applied externally to ulcers as a poultice. The plant is a feeble simple bitter. The root is cathartic, emetic, stimulant and tonic. When dried it is a simple bitter that can be used as a digestive tonic in a similar way to gentian root (Gentiana spp), but the fresh root is cathartic and emetic. The root is used in the treatment of dysentery, stomach complaints and a lack of appetite. It should be harvested in the autumn of its second year, or the spring of its third year.

Description of the plant:


2.5 m
(8 1/4 foot)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Dry soils.

Propagation of American Columbo:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in late winter.

Cultivation of the herb:

Dry soils.

Known hazards of Frasera caroliniensis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.