Herb: Sarsparilla

Latin name: Smilax glycophylla

Family: Smilacaceae (Greenbrier Family)

Medicinal use of Sarsparilla:

Alterative, antiscorbutic, diuretic, pectoral, tonic.

Description of the plant:


Habitat of the herb:

Valleys in humid positions along the coast.

Edible parts of Sarsparilla:

The leaves are refreshing to chew. The leaves are used as a tea substitute. A sugar substitute. The part used is not specified.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow March in a warm greenhouse. This note probably refers to the tropical members of the genus, seeds of plants from cooler areas seem to require a period of cold stratification, some species taking 2 or more years to germinate. We sow the seed of temperate species in a cold frame as soon as we receive it, and would sow the seed as soon as it is ripe if we could obtain it then. When the seedlings eventually germinate, prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first year, though we normally grow them on in pots for 2 years. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in early spring as new growth begins. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer. Cuttings of half-ripe shoots, July in a frame.

Cultivation of Sarsparilla:

Valleys in humid positions along the coast.

Known hazards of Smilax glycophylla:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.