Herb: Chinese Artichoke


Latin name: Stachys affinis


Synonyms: Stachys sieboldii, Stachys tuberifera


Family: Labiatae



Medicinal use of Chinese Artichoke:

The dried and powdered root is anodyne. The entire plant has been used in the treatment of colds and pneumonia.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
45 cm
(1 foot)

Flovering:
July to
August

Habitat of the herb:

Wet and submersed areas, 0-3200 m. Gansu, Hebei, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Xinjiang

Edible parts of Chinese Artichoke:

Tubers - raw or cooked. Quite a pleasant mild flavour and easily digested, but fairly small and fiddly, they are about 5 - 8cm long and 2cm wide. A nutty artichoke-like flavour, it can be eaten raw on its own, be added to salads or be lightly cooked. The tubers quickly discolour when exposed to the air and are said to lose their flavour if they are peeled. It is best to harvest them as required. Yields are about 1kg per square metre. Leaves - cooked. A famine food, they are only used when all else fails.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If sufficient growth has been made, it is possible to plant them out during the summer, otherwise grow them on in pots for their first summer, leaving the tubers in the pots to overwinter in a cold frame and then plant out in late spring when in active growth. Seed is rarely if ever produced on plants growing in Britain. Division. The tubers can be harvest and replanted at any time whilst they are dormant. They do start into growth fairly early in the year so it is better to have moved them by the end of March.

Cultivation of Chinese Artichoke:

Wet and submersed areas, 0-3200 m. Gansu, Hebei, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Xinjiang

Known hazards of Stachys affinis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.