Common Name udo
Light sun to part
The plant yields new shoots every spring, which are blanched and then eaten as a vegetable. In Korea, the dried root of the plant has been traditionally used as medicine. The young shoots have a strong yet pleasant distinct aromatic flavor. In addition to food and medicinal use, the plant is cultivated as an ornamental.
Young branched shoots can be eaten cooked or raw. They can be up to 1.5 metres long and have a mild and agreeable flavor. They are usually blanched and are crisp and tender with a unique lemon-like flavor. They can be sliced and added to salads, soups, etc.
The root is sometimes used in China as a substitute for ginseng (Panax species)]. It is said to be analgesic, anti inflammatory, carminative, diuretic, febrifuge, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. The root contains an essential oil, saponins, sesquiterpenes and diterpene acids. It is used in Korea to treat the common cold and migraines.
It can tolerate freezing temperatures during winter, as it dies back and then re-grows in the spring, yielding for six years or more. It requires little labor; however the shoots require blanching if intended for food use. It must be grown in a climate of minimal to no drought, and can grow well in moist and rainy areas, and mountainous areas. It is generally grown in the wild, but can be grown in fields, cellars, or nurseries. The plant prefers light shade, but can grow in full shade, or in full sun, provided that it has a reliable water source.
The seed propagation requires numerous months of stratification for effective germination. Seeds generally do not germinate well directly after harvesting or in dry storage, but germinate well in cold moist sand. Low temperature treatments facilitate the germination process. Chilling treatments are useful to overcome the dormancy of seeds in dry storage. Domestic seeds germinate more effectively than wild ones. The plant propagates readily by root suckering, allowing it to produce indefinitely.
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