Herb: Withe Rod


Latin name: Viburnum cassinoides


Synonyms: Viburnum nudum cassinoides


Family: Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)



Medicinal use of Withe Rod:

The bark and root bark is antispasmodic, diaphoretic, febrifuge and tonic. An infusion has been used to treat recurrent spasms, fevers, smallpox and ague. The infusion has also been used as a wash for a sore tongue.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
2.5 m
(8 1/4 foot)

Flovering:
June

Habitat of the herb:

Thickets, clearings, swamps and borders of woods.

Edible parts of Withe Rod:

Fruit - raw or cooked. The scant flesh is sweet and well flavoured, hanging on the plant well into the winter. The oval fruit is about 10mm long and contains a single large seed. The leaves are used as a tea substitute. A pleasant taste. The leaves are steamed over boiling water, rolled between the fingers, allowed to stand overnight and then dried in an oven to be used as required.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Germination can be slow, sometimes taking more than 18 months. If the seed is harvested "green" (when it has fully developed but before it has fully ripened) and sown immediately in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring. Stored seed will require 2 months warm then 3 months cold stratification and can still take 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of soft-wood, early summer in a frame. Pot up into individual pots once they start to root and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8 cm long with a heel if possible, July/August in a frame. Plant them into individual pots as soon as they start to root. These cuttings can be difficult to overwinter, it is best to keep them in a greenhouse or cold frame until the following spring before planting them out. Cuttings of mature wood, winter in a frame. They should root in early spring - pot them up when large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer if sufficient new growth is made, otherwise keep them in a cold frame for the next winter and then plant them out in the spring. Layering of current seasons growth in July/August. Takes 15 months.

Cultivation of Withe Rod:

Thickets, clearings, swamps and borders of woods.

Known hazards of Viburnum cassinoides:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.