Mandrake, officinarum (Mandragora officinarum), packet of 13 dried seeds, organic
Family: Nightshade (Solanaceae)
Hardy to Zones 6 to 10
(White Mandrake, Mandragora officinalis) Perennial. Native to southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean. Rare. Traditional usage (TWM): fertility, aphrodisiac, a magical totem, relieve pain, promote sleep. Source of tropane alkaloids–do not ingest. Plant prefers alkaline pH—deep, sandy soils, dry, in the part-shade. The plant begins its vegetative cycle in the midwinter, flowers in the spring, fruits, and goes quickly dormant in the summer, then re-sprouts from beneath the callus in fall or spring. Keep crowns in perfect drainage. I plant mine in deep sand mulch on the shady side of rocks. Flower color is variable, some plants making vibrant purple flowers, others flowering like washed-out lavender. Flower to 16 inches, giving way to green, apple-like fruits that eventually turn yellowish and soft before harvest. The smell is exquisite. Sow seeds as soon as possible upon receipt. Sow about 1/4 ich deep in sandy, alkaline mix in a flat or preferably in a gallon pot. Place pot in the shadehouse or in the greenhouse in a relatively cool, shaded area. Lacking the shadehouse or the greenhouse, you might try a sheltered spot outdoors, or even a germination setup with lights. Germination may take as long as 12 months. Oscillating temperatures usually preferred over consistent temperatures. Seedlings and indeed older plants rot back in summer and resprout from beneath the callus in fall or spring. Space plants 3 feet apart
13 seeds per packet, Certified Organically Grown (INTERNATIONAL ORDERS OK)
No replacements on mandrake seed.