Herb: Swamp Lily

Latin name: Saururus cernuus

Family: Saururaceae (Lizard's-tail Family)

Medicinal use of Swamp Lily:

Sedative. An infusion of the roots has been used as a wash in the treatment of rheumatism. The root is roasted then mashed and made into a poultice to treat sore breasts. A boiled extract of the roots is used as a poultice to heal flesh wounds. The dried leaves can be made into a tea and drunk for the treatment of back and breast pains, it is also used in treating stomach ailments.

Description of the plant:


50 cm
(1 foot)

July to


Habitat of the herb:

Swamps and shallow water.

Propagation of Swamp Lily:

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in early autumn. Sow stored seed in late winter or early spring. Keep the pots moist by standing them in shallow water. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. The plants spread freely and division is possible at almost any time in the growing season. Divisions taken in mid to late summer should be overwintered in pots in a cold frame and then be planted out in late spring. Regular division maintains the vigour of the plant.

Cultivation of the herb:

Swamps and shallow water.

Known hazards of Saururus cernuus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.