Paris polyphylla, "Love-apple", Rhizoma paridis, rootstock instead of seeds, RARE!
Paris polyphylla, Zao Xiu, Rhizoma paridis - "Love-apple" rhizome
Paris polyphylla belongs after the new systematic to the family of the Melanthiaceae. In former times P. polyphylla was seen as a part of the Liliaceae or the Aspargaceae. It is better known as “Einbeere” in Germany. It is native to China where it occurs also in the Himalaya 3000 m above sea level.
P. polyphylla is a perennial, herbaceous plant that can get up to 90 cm high. The leaves stand in one whorl at the shoot. The whorl is made up of mostly seven leaves. The leaves are simple and ovate oblong. They can get 15 cm long. The leaf edge is smooth and the venation is clearly visible.
The flower stands at the top of the shoot. It is whitish- greenish, actinomorphic and hermaphrodite.
The fruit is a black or dark violet berry. This berry includes just few seeds. The seeds are surrounded by an arillus. The root is a rhizome.
P. polyphylla has a very interesting story. The Chinese tell the old story that a young man went into the forest to get some firewood. While doing so, a snake bit him. He was knocked down and would have probably died if not seven faries would have passed him. They saw him lying there and covered the wound the snake left with her shawls. The man was even luckier because a goddess saw the tragedy and added her hairpin to the shawls. This combination let the wound vanish and the poison got harmless. As the young man awaked he saw a beautiful plant beside him. The plant had seven leaves and a golden flower: Paris polyphlla.
In the traditional Chinese medicine it is used as an agent against snake bites. But one has to be careful with P. polyphylla. It includes poisonous substances, the saponines. The berries are very poisonous, too and should not be eaten. In Europe the plant is used as an ornamental plant.
This plant is almost nowhere else available. What you can buy here is not the seeds but rootstocks (rhizomes) which are really really easy to cultivate. It simply has to be planted in soil and will start sprouting soon.
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