Herb latin name: Gastrodia cunninghamii


Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)



Edible parts of Gastrodia cunninghamii:

Root - roasted. Sweet and mealy. The root is up to 40cm long, as thick as an adults finger, and full of starch.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

Flovering:
July to
August


Scent:
Scented
Perennial

Habitat of the herb:

Dark shaded places in deep woods, usually in beech forests, on North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands.

Propagation of Gastrodia cunninghamii:

Seed - surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, into the plants natural habitat near existing colonies, or onto a bed of Quercus wood inoculated with the fungus Armillaria mellea (introduce this fungus into your land with extreme caution since it kills trees and there is no known preventative). The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant. Division in autumn. The plant is very intolerant of root disturbance, any moving or dividing should be attempted in the autumn, keep a large ball of soil around the plant.

Cultivation of the herb:

Dark shaded places in deep woods, usually in beech forests, on North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands.

Medicinal use of Gastrodia cunninghamii:

None known

Known hazards of Gastrodia cunninghamii:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.