This plant has many uses. Widely used for its mucilaginous properties, the roots and leaves can be cooked and eaten. The roots contain 37 percent starch and can be added to soups or boiled to create an egg white effect for other dishes. Flowers can harvested for tea. There are many medicinal uses. Flowers have been used as an expectorant in cough syrups and roots have been used to soothe gastric ulcers, to name a few. Leaves have been used for infusions helpful to the bronchial and respiratory tracts.
Plants grow best in moist soils. Erfurter is a German bred variety that is high in highest in its mucilaginous properties. Plants from this strain are quite vigorous and reach up to 6 ft. tall. We have since selected one plant that easily grows to 8 ft..every year and use that as our seed source for Erfuter today. Roots should be harvested in 2-3 years and can be dried or used fresh directly into soups.
|Genus & Species||Althaea officinalis|
|Pollination Requirements||Self fertile.|
|Soil||Not particular. Somewhat tolerant of wet conditions.|
|Ease of Cultivation||Easy to grow and flower. Takes 2 years to really get big.|