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Acmella oleracea

Description

Acmella oleracea, or Toothache Plant, is an annual, flowering herb, a native of South American from Brazil to Argentina, and while its native distribution is not clear, it is thought to be derived from a Brazillian Acmella species. While not typically found in uncultivated areas, it has been known to escape from cultivation and grow in weedy, wet localities such as lakeside marshes.

The plant prefers moist, well-drained, organically rich soils and full or partial sun; it cannot grow in full shade. In its native environment, it grows as a perennial in regions with an average temperature of 82 degrees F., heavy rainfall, and a relative humidity of 85%.

The Toothache Plant has yellow to orange flowers and the plant is often used as an ornamental. The attractive colorful heads attract fireflies when in bloom. The leaves add a pungent flavor to salads and soups. While the leaves smell similar to any leafy vegetable, when eaten a strong, spicy warmth spreads across your tongue, becoming a prickling sensation that activates the salivary glands. The prickling subsides into an acidic (slightly metallic) sharpness, then tingling, and then numbness. The numbness fades after two to twenty minutes (depending on the person and amount eaten), but the pungent aftertaste lingers for an hour or more. An extract of the plant, sometimes called jambu, is used as a flavoring agent in foods, chewing gum, and chewing tobacco.

Diseases, Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases or insect problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#ornamentals#edible leaves#herbaceous annual#wilson mg plant sale 2021
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#ornamentals#edible leaves#herbaceous annual#wilson mg plant sale 2021
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Acmella
    Species:
    oleracea
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The most common and widespread medicinal use is to treat toothache and throat and gum infections. Also used as an insecticide against the yellow fever mosquito and corn earworm. moth
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South America
    Distribution:
    Central America, India
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts fireflies, bees, butterflies, and birds.
    Edibility:
    The leaves can be eaten, raw or cooked, and it adds a pungent flavor to salads. The leaves stimulate the salivary glands while numbing the tongue and lips. A popular ingredient in Amazonian soups.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Good Dried
    Long Bloom Season
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Dome
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Many disc florets many, yellow to orange, 1/10 of an inch long. Bloom through the summer and fall.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Deltoid
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Broadly ovate to deltate, 2 to 4 inches long, 2 to 3 inches wide, base truncate or with a short attenuate part, margins dentate, apex acute, usually glabrous.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Decumbent or erect; stems often reddish, glabrous
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Songbirds