Featured for May
May is mid-autumn, by the horticultural calendar, and the life cycle of each plant has now determined the performance for the winter period. Chickweed is joyfully expanding over the ground in the preferred season of growth in our sub-tropical climate, while Siberian Ginseng is busily building energy reserves in preparation for winter dormancy.
Made famous by Russian athletes for decreasing recover time after physical exertion. Now broadly used to treat exhaustion of all types, including physical, emotional and sexual.
Native to Siberia, this species shows remarkable adaptability, thriving in all climates and most positions. Habit changes with climate and position. In full sun in the sub-tropics (photo above) habit is large, generous and expansive. When grown in shade in the same climate, the habit is compact, reserved and (almost) demure.
Medicinal action is that of an adaptogen, balancing out any existing imbalances in the organism. Plants with adaptogenic properties generally have a common name which refers to Ginseng. Korean or Asian Ginseng is the best known adaptogen, others include Maca (Peruvian Ginseng), Ashwaganda (Indian Ginseng), Golden Root and Jiaogulan.
Although it is the root harvested for making plant medicine, the leaves also have the same medicinal properties, albeit much diluted in comparison.
Propagation by seed is challenging, but rewarding. Vegetative propagation is much easier. Semi-hardwood cuttings in late spring to early summer, or hardwood cuttings in winter. Suitable for all climates and areas in Australia.