Herb: Stinking Gladwin


Latin name: Iris foetidissima


Family: Iridaceae (Iris Family)



Medicinal use of Stinking Gladwin:

Stinking gladwin has a long history of medicinal use, though it can be rather strong in its action and so is little used nowadays. The root is anodyne, antispasmodic and cathartic. A decoction of the roots acts as a strong purge, it has also been used as an emmenagogue and for cleaning eruptions. The powdered or infused dried root is beneficial in the treatment of fainting, nervous complaints and to relieve pains and cramps. The plant has been used as a cure for ringworm.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Perennial

Height:
100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

Flovering:
May to
July


Scent:
Scented
Perennial

Habitat of the herb:

Open woods, hedgebanks and shady places, usually on calcareous soils. It is often also found on sea cliffs.

Other uses of Stinking Gladwin:

A good ground cover plant, succeeding in dense shade and in dry soils. Rather slow to spread though, needing weeding for the first year or two. Plants should be spaced about 60cm apart each way.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame, it may take 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first year. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division, best done in July after flowering. 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 spring.

Cultivation of Stinking Gladwin:

Open woods, hedgebanks and shady places, usually on calcareous soils. It is often also found on sea cliffs.

Known hazards of Iris foetidissima:

The roots of this plant are toxic to grazing mammals. Plants can cause skin irritations and allergies in some people.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.