Osha (Ligusticum porteri) seeds

(9 customer reviews)

$4.95

Please note:  Osha (Ligusticum porteri) seeds are famously short-lived.  We offer only seeds from the recent harvest.

Family: Carrot (Apiaceae)

Hardy to Zones 4 to 8

(Bear Medicine) Perennial herb native to the Rocky Mountains.  Traditional usage (American Indian, TWM): upper respiratory infection, cough, altitude sickness.  Plant prefers full sun to part shade and is often found in association with aspen groves.  Sow in outdoor conditions in flats or in nursery bed.  Sow seed about 1/4 inch deep and cover with soil, tamp well, then cover the planting with a thin layer of organic mulch such as rotted sawdust, peat or coir.  Sow in cool soils in outdoor conditions.  Best to sow in the fall for germination in the spring.  For an in-depth discussion of seed germination and cultivation of Osha, see the Osha chapter in the book “Growing At-Risk Medicinal Herbs.”  Thin seedlings to 6 inches apart and keep well-weeded and deeply mulched.

Packet contains 30 seeds
5 g contains ~1,500 seeds
10 g contains ~3,000 seeds

Open Pollinated, Untreated, NO GMO’s

Clear

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5 out of 5 stars

9 reviews

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What others are saying

  1. Bonnie

    Substitute for Osha Rt

    Bonnie

    I was wondering if you could tell me if there is a substitute for OSHA rt, since it is so expensive to buy now . Thanks

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Bonnie, In botanical terms, the herb Lovage is easy to grow and closely related. In herbal terms, the antibiotic and antitussive properties of osha might be achieved with goldenseal, tulsi, slippery elm, even mullein. But nothing is really the same as our big stinker osha.
      Richo

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    • Bonnie Travis

      Thank you again for your help. You are always an inspiration to me. I have used it as part of my immune boosting formula. I really love the way it smells…..thanks again, sincerely

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  2. One person found this helpful

    Question

    Mireille LaPointe

    I live in Eastern Ontario, am Indigenous, and want to grow Osha. I can only order seeds as of September 2020?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      You can mail-order and we will send you seeds. Send us your address, items required, and payment to: Strictly Medicinal, PO Box 299, Williams, OR 97544.

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  3. Question

    jodyhoffman1876

    First off will this grow in North Iowa? If it will I will be buying seeds. I am glad that I found you. Bear root is getting very expensive and hard to find We have to use this for a medicine during our sweat lodge ceremony. Do you have a book I can buy as well to help with growing this? I appreciate your help take care

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Jody,
      Thanks for staying in touch. Bear Root is native to the Rockies and Northern Iowa is similar in terms of Zone (love Iowa, born in Iowa City, U of I alumnus). There is a whole chapter on growing osha in my book “Growing At-Risk.” The current seed lot pf Osha is of confirmed germination. Richo

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    • jodyhoffman1876

      Thank you for getting back to me I am about 100 miles from there I appreciate your help and I will be ordering everything soon

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  4. Question

    Pam Mckee

    I live in western Colorado at 8300 ft elevation. This plant looks very familiar to me. Like a weed that grows in the dense woods. What would be a way to identify the plants I’m seeing as truly osha ?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Pam,
      All plants in the Apiaceae (carrot family) look pretty similar. But osha has a distinct odor, so scratch the root and sniff. Should smell strong and smoky. Be careful, Conium looks very similar, is inodorous and very poisonous. Read the “OSHA” chapter in “Growing At-Risk.”
      Richo

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  5. Question

    jeff symonds

    will osha grow in north michigan.i read is ver hard to grow.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Jeff,
      All kinds of things are difficult to grow and then easy to grow once you know how. but it is true osha is slow-growing. Suggest you read the “Osha” chapter in “Growing At-Risk Medicinal Herbs.” You can buy a packet of seeds and plant it and see what happens. I had osha come up through half an inch of fine coir this spring. lovely! richo

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    • Rick Lee

      Will Osha grow on zone 9b, south of Tampa. in protected shade? and is it too late to plant (mid April) Thanks

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Rick,
      I wouldn’t recommend Osha for a FL 9b, that is too hot for it.
      Richo

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    • Elizabeth

      Hello I live in Quintana Beach where it mostly sunny. Unless the fake clouds hides the sun. Can I grow them here?

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    • Mayche Cech

      Mayche Cech

      Hi Elizabeth, Osha is not a good choice for Quintana beach. You would do better simply planting Mediterranean herbs like Oregano and Thyme. These have their own positive influence on upper respiratory issues. Richo

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  6. Question

    Marguerite Cook

    Can osha be grown in zone 5, Southeastern Indiana?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Yes, Hardy to Zones 4 to 8, widely adaptable.

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    • Taji

      Hi! Could you send me seeds to Canary Islands, Spain, pls?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Yes, we ship seeds internationally.

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    • Chris Bailey

      Any suggestions on growing osha in zone 8b?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      I think 8b is probably too hot for osha, unless you are at elevation or can find a really cool and shady spot with deep forest mulch on the ground.

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    • Holly

      Hello!
      I am in Fresno, CA, zone 9b. If I plant this in a shady spot….under a tree, maybe, do you think it will grow?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Holly,
      I have had reports of people in Louisiana doing well with Osha so Fresno doesn’t sound so impossible. You can read the “Osha” chapter in “Growing At-Risk Medicinal Herbs” to find out pretty much everything I know about growing the plant. We do fine with osha here in our Zone 8.
      Richo

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  7. Question

    Tori

    I live in Tennessee and I’m wondering if I could grow osha under an led plant light

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Thanks for contacting. You can try, but what I’ve noticed is that plants, especially wild mountain plants, prefer outdoor growing conditions to indoor conditions. And, the sun is free energy.

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    • Marina

      SE SC zone 8 b, will it survive summer heat and occasional winter frost? I want to grow in container. How deep, what height of container should 8 select? Will it truly take 6 years for the 1st harvest? Many thanks

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Osha (Ligusticum porteri) is far more adaptable than has been previously reported. If you want a really good rundown on it, check the OSHA chapter in my book “Growing At-Risk.” I haven’t seen it work particularly well as a potted specimen, though. It wants a deep, slightly acidic soil with a deep layer of carbon-rich mulch above. This is not a real easy plant to grow, it will survive in a Z 8 and it does take a long time to develop a usable root–that’s why its rare.

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    • Mick

      Hi, do you know if the above ground parts have decent medicinal value, or is it only the roots?

      Thanks ?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Good question. The seeds have definitely been used as a condiment and stomachic. I am not so sure about the leaves, but think they would be OK, perhaps a mild version of our smoky and oily root. r

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    • Ian Maas (verified owner)

      Hello, How is your osha seed this year? Is there still some fresh seed available ? I want to try germinating some again during upcoming vernalization.
      I was wondering about another species of linguisticum that I came across called ‘scotium’ or Scot’s lovage. Maybe a European species?
      It is referenced as a medicinal, but is supposedly an easy germinator.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hello Ian,
      Its a good year on osha (Ligusticum porteri), and the harvest was made only 30 days ago, it is as fresh as it gets. Right, L. scotium is from the place that its species name implies–Scotland and thereabouts.
      Richo

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    • John

      Hello, I live In Vermont zone 4b. I live at the base of a mountain with sandy soils. I would like to try to grow osha. Do you think this environment will work for it? I’d like to try and get a patch established so it can be perennial. We have snow already so I thought if I bought seeds now I would keep them in soil in my fridge until spring. does that sounds like a good idea?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Sometimes plants that do well at elevation also do well in colder zones like where you live. My approach is always to try to grow everything and keep what survives and thrives. This would be my advice to you as well. Osha needs plenty of cold, moist stratification and takes a long time to germinate. Yes, the seeds we have in stock are from the 2019 harvest and should be planted now. I recommend reading the osha chapter in “Growing At-Risk” Richo

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    • Karin K Fellows (verified owner)

      I am hoping to grow osha in Omaha Nebraska. We are not at a mountain elevation. Do you have any guidance for success? Thank you very much. I am so excited to start my healing herb gardens. Blessings

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Karin,
      Sometimes these questions come right at the time I’m working with the plant–its uncanny. Just checked Osha flat planted on 12/17 and found hundreds of seedling had just popped up. I used a coir-rich mix which I think helps. The plant likes raw carbon in the growth medium, so we always deeply mulch the plants in the field with sawdust or coir. Black gold “coir only” is a great product. I think if you do these things it doesn’t matter if you have elevation or not. People are growing osha at low elevation. Read the “Osha” chapter in “Growing At-Risk Medicinal Herbs” for more info.
      Richo

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    • Srinath DS

      I need the seeds

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      OK, go ahead, these are in stock.

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    • Tricia

      Is it too late to order seeds for this season? I am in zone 5, Utah.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Tricia,
      It is not too late to plant OSHA seed. Also, we don’t get a viable crop every year so the current lot of confirmed germination is a much better bet than waiting for next year–who knows how next year’s seed will be?
      Richo

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    • tabreaux (verified owner)

      From Alabama, USA – Zone 7/8, Elev. 600′: Seed collected in 2018 and sown in 3/2019 still occasionally germinating here as of 5/2020. Following a period of cold stratification, germination can oftentimes triggered by alternating warm and cool temperatures. Excessive moisture appears to impede germination. Small seedlings tend to fail at warmer ambient temperatures or if soil moisture is excessive. In this region, this species requires a well drained medium with only occasional watering, and only direct morning sun exposure during the warmer months. This, incidentally, has emerged as the same regime for growing our native Ligusticum canadense – boar hog root.

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    • jennyrawlings

      I lives in Zone 7a at 2300 feet.in Western NC. Our climate is extremely wet–we are practically a temperate rainforest. Do you believe Osha will grow in this climate?

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Jenny, Osha grows well in high mountain meadows that are whetted by snowmelt, so it does not take a leap of the imagination to visualize it growing at elevation in NC (love your woods, by the way, very familiar with them). I find that I can grow it here at 1600 feet in my regular fields, and employ a coir mulch heaped around the plants, which seems to be a critical detail. Feel free to read more about osha cultivation in “growing at risk medicinal herbs.”
      Richo

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