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Osmorhiza occidentalis - (Nutt.)Torr.
                 
Common Name Western Sweet-Cicely, Western sweetroot
Family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Shady or partly shady areas, often on slopes and in valleys[60, 85].
Range Western N. America.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary

Osmorhiza occidentalis Western Sweet-Cicely, Western sweetroot


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Wsiegmund
Osmorhiza occidentalis Western Sweet-Cicely, Western sweetroot
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Wsiegmund
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Osmorhiza occidentalis is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Root;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

The root has a sweet liquorice or anise flavour and can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a flavouring for biscuits etc[85, 183, 257]. The taste is probably too strong for the whole root to be used as a vegetable[85]. The dried seeds are used as a flavouring[85, 183, 257]. The unripe seed, when still fleshy, can be nibbled raw[85, 183].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiseptic;  Carminative;  Deodorant;  Febrifuge;  Ophthalmic;  Oxytoxic;  Pectoral;  Poultice;  
Skin;  Stomachic.

Western sweet-cicely was widely employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who used it particularly to treat digestive disorders and as an antiseptic wash for a range of problems[257]. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism. An infusion of the plant is used in the treatment of coughs and colds[61, 257]. The roots are antiseptic, carminative, febrifuge, oxytocic, pectoral and stomachic[257]. An infusion has been used to induce labour in a pregnant woman and to treat fevers, indigestion, flatulence, stomach aches etc[257]. An infusion of the roots has been applied externally as a treatment for swollen breasts, sores, sore eyes etc[257]. A decoction of the root has been used as a wash on venereal sores and skin rashes[257]. A poultice of the pulped roots has been used in the treatment of cuts, sores, swellings and bruises[257]. The root has been applied to teeth to relive the pain of toothache[257]. A hot decoction of the root has been used to kill head lice[257].
Other Uses
Deodorant;  Incense;  Insecticide.

The roots have been used by women as a feminine deodorant[257]. They have also been placed in the clothes cupboard to impart a nice smell to clothes and have been used to rinse babies nappies[257]. A decoction of the root has been used as a dip to kill lice in chickens[257].
Cultivation details
Succeeds in any deep moisture-retentive soil in sun or dappled shade[200]. Plants are hardy to about -20°c[200]. Well suited to naturalistic plantings in a woodland or wild garden[200]. A sweetly aromatic plant[200].
Propagation
Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe if this is possible, otherwise sow it in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Books by Plants For A Future

Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Osmorhiza aristata 30
Osmorhiza chilensis 30
Osmorhiza claytoniiWoolly Sweet-Cicely, Clayton's sweetroot31
Osmorhiza longistylisAniseroot, Longstyle sweetroot31
Osmorhiza obtusa 30
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Author
(Nutt.)Torr.
Botanical References
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Subject : Osmorhiza occidentalis  

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