Herb latin name: Vitis flexuosa
Family: Vitaceae (Grape Family)
Medicinal use of Vitis flexuosa:The fruit is restorative, strengthening and tonic. The sap is used to restore youth and black hair. The root is said to be warming to the sinews.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Woodlands in hills and mountains of C. and S. Japan.
Edible parts of Vitis flexuosa:Fruit - raw or dried for winter use. The fruit is about 7mm in diameter and is carried in bunches. Some forms of this plant have edible leaves - it is unlikely that the leaves of any forms are poisonous, but perhaps some are more palatable than others. Young leaves are wrapped around other foods and then baked, they impart a pleasant flavour. Young tendrils - raw or cooked. Sap - a sweet taste, it can be made into a drink.
Other uses of the herb:A yellow dye is obtained from the fresh or dried leaves.
Propagation of Vitis flexuosa:Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Six weeks cold stratification improves the germination rate, and so stored seed is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is obtained. Germination should take place in the first spring, but sometimes takes another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in early summer. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, December/January in a frame. These cuttings can be of wood 15 - 30cm long or they can be of short sections of the stem about 5cm long with just one bud at the top of the section. In this case a thin, narrow strip of the bark about 3cm long is removed from the bottom half of the side of the stem. This will encourage callusing and the formation of roots. Due to the size of these cuttings they need to be kept in a more protected environment than the longer cuttings. Layering.
Cultivation of the herb:Woodlands in hills and mountains of C. and S. Japan.
Known hazards of Vitis flexuosa:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.