Herb: Rock Geranium
Latin name: Heuchera americana
Family: Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)
Medicinal use of Rock Geranium:The root is very astringent and has been used in the treatment of cancer and also as an external remedy in sores, wounds, vaginal discharges and ulcers. It can be dried, ground into a powder and sprinkled onto wounds etc. It is taken internally in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery and gastric ulcers. It should be used with some caution since excess irritates the stomach and can cause kidney and liver failure. The root is harvested in the autumn and is dried for use in decoctions or as a powder.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Loamy woods and shady calcareous slopes and rocks.
Other uses of Rock Geranium:The root can be used as an alum substitute, this is a mordant that is used in fixing dyes. The root is rich in tannin and it has been suggested that this is the mordant. A good ground cover plant for the woodland garden. Plants should be spaced about 35cm apart each way.
Propagation of the herb:Seed - sow early spring in a warm greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly rapid. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. The seed can also be sown in the middle of spring in an outdoor seedbed and planted out in early summer. Alternatively, you can sow the seed in an outdoor seedbed in the middle of summer for planting out in the following spring. Division in March or October. It is best to divide the plants in August or early September, making sure that the woody roots are planted quite deeply with only the crown of foliage above the ground.
Cultivation of Rock Geranium:Loamy woods and shady calcareous slopes and rocks.
Known hazards of Heuchera americana:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.