Edible Parts: flowers, roots.
Flowers - raw. Sweet and delightful. Rich in nectar, they make a very attractive addition to mixed salads and can also be used as a thirst-quenching munch in the garden. Root chewed for its medicinal virtues. Caution is advised.
Antispasmodic, diaphoretic, parasiticide,
resolvent, salve. The root is astringent and diuretic. It is chewed
or made into a weak tea for the treatment of diarrhoea and stomach
aches. The tea is used in the treatment of uterine bleeding. The
boiled plant was used as a hair wash. The seed is anodyne and
febrifuge. An infusion is used in the treatment of headaches and
fevers. The root tea or chewed root and sometimes the leaves,
has been used as a diuretic and to treat diarrhea and other stomach
troubles. The root contains aquilegunine, berberine, magnoflorine
and other alkaloids.
Preparations of this plant are used as an astringent, analgesic, and a diuretic. American Indians used crushed seeds to relieve headaches.
Warning: The plant could be toxic if taken in large amounts especially to children.
The seed is rubbed into the scalp to rid the hair of lice. The crushed seed is pleasantly aromatic and is used as a perfume. The fragrance persists for a long time.
An easily grown and very tolerant plant, it succeeds in almost any garden soil exept heavy clay, and likes semi-shade. A very ornamental and cold-hardy plant, it tolerates temperatures down to about -25°c. A greedy plant inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes. Most species in this genus are short-lived, dying out after 2 - 3 years, though they usually produce seed prolifically. However, they are very apt to hybridize with other members of the genus and so it becomes difficult to keep a species true to type if more than one is grown in the garden.
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe
in a cold frame. The seed can be slow to germinate. Stored seed
can be sown in late winter in a cold frame. When large enough
to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow
them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in late
spring or early summer. Division in spring.