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Silphium Perfoliatum

Silphium Perfoliatum

Silphium Perfoliatum

Due to low germination rate of 15-20% with untreated seeds S. perfoliatum is usually planted as seedling. This is the reason for high investment costs in establishing the crop. Furthermore, there is no yield in the first planting season as S. perfoliatum is only harvested from the second year on.Silphium perfoliatum, also known as Pokeweed, is a troublesome weed that infests water and damp ground. Like the wandering Jew, Pokeweed has a tendency to spread everywhere, and Mother Nature has a way of quickly burying the pesky plant.S. perfoliatum's metabolic pathway is the C3 carbon fixation. This plant is highly adapted to endure extreme weather and inhospitable conditions. For example, during the winter, the roots remain dormant and can survive temperatures as low as −30 °C (−22 °F). Its optimal growing temperature is 20 °C (68 °F).

Plant

In European climate conditions the planting of seedlings is typically carried out at the end of May, or the beginning of June with planting machines from the vegetable and gardening industries. Low plant density (50 cm × 75 cm, 75 cm × 75 cm) can give a higher yield in the first harvestable year compared to the higher plant densities (50 cm × 50 cm). In the second harvestable year, they are similar, regardless of the plant density.The powdered form of S. perfoliatum' has diaphoretic and tonic properties. It can help alleviate the symptoms of fevers, dry cough, asthma, spleen illness, heart and liver disease. The extract from the leaves of the plant has shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides levels in blood. Studies show that the presence of phenolic acids is responsible for the species’ antiseptic activity to stimulate generation of IgG and IgM antibodies. In addition, it stimulates bile production of the gall bladder.

S. perfoliatum is sold by a good number of native plant nurseries and some specialty nurseries in the US and Canada; rarely in conventional nurseries. It is often used in prairie and native meadow restorations and in native, naturalistic landscapes and gardens; only infrequently in conventional landscapes and gardens by landscape designers and architects that know of it as a unique looking perennial. A large patch was planted at Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois, near the Lurie Garden, in 2010. In gardening and landscaping it is best used in groups and not individually, as it is so vertical and the flower stalks are more likely to fall over when grown singularly.The preference is full or partial sun, and moist loamy soil. This plant may drop some of its lower leaves in response to a drought. Sometimes, the leaves and buds of distressed plants turn brown, growth becomes stunted, and blossums abort in response to disease or drought. Another problem is that Cup Plant may topple over during a rainstorm with strong winds, particularly while it is blooming, or situated on a slope. (Source: www.illinoiswildflowers.info)

 

 

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