Spilanthes, Official (Spilanthes acmella)
(Toothache Plant, Para Cress)
Annual. 120 days to maturity. Native to Africa and South America, the original distribution of this plant was split when the continents drifted apart. This particular strain is green leaved and has very conical flowers, yellow, with the characteristic bright crimson "fisheye" at the apex. This is the one we use for making the medicine (as plant explorers we've compiled a few other varieties, all of which are worth growing and beautiful and effective in their own right, but this one is strongest). Ancient, distinctively beautiful and highly entertaining plant. Medicinally, Spilanthes is an indispensable immune-enhancing tonic and dentifrice. We have used this herb in treatment of earache in chileren, gum disease, lyme's disease, and malaria. Plant prefers full sun and well-manured soil and plenty of water. Will grow and show well in pots left in the greenhouse, very bright window or warm sunshine. Space 1 to 2 feet apart. Grows 12 inches tall, in a mounding form. Organically grown potted plant
This plant may be grown outdoors in a suitable environment, but it is also recommended for indoor growing as a houseplant. Following, find some recommendations for growing spilanthes in indoor culture (an indoor windowsill, under a skylight, in a sunroom, but without auxiliary growlights):
Pot size: Gallon. LArger pot size disallows drying out, which can be fatal.
Soil: Standard potting soil mixture for houseplants as described on page 107 of "The Medicinal Herb Grower" by Richo Cech: Mix together 1 gallon of hydrated coir, 1 gallon of compost or composted manure, 2 Tbsp micronutrient mix, 1/2 gallon coarse, sharp sand, 1 gallon pumice. Spilanthes is a heavy feeder and will benefit from a higher proportion of organic compost in the mix, as well as top dressing with pure compost from time to time.
Light requirement: High
Watering requirement: Frequent--do not allow to dry out.
Fertilization: Weekly foliar or root feeding of kelp tea, mycoblast, or compost tea, or application of compost around crown.
Potential toxicity to pests or young children: not overtly toxic, but not really encouraged. The plant is an intense sialagogue and tasting it could make baby cry, and kitty drool into the cushions.
Setting outdoors: A good idea. This plant loves humidity and hot sun when it can get it. A good sunning would encourage flowering and discourage the plant from becoming leggy or weak. Protect from frost.
Vacations: Probably OK to leave unattended for 5 days without water. If necessary, it may help to encase the plant in an inflated plastic bag, in which case it could hold for 2 weeks, more or less.
Feel free to order this plant at any time, but please be aware that we SHIP PLANTS APRIL 1 to AUGUST 1 AND SEPTEMBER1 to DEC 1 only. Orders received outside these months will be automatically backordered. If you are ordering plants out of season, you may wish to order them separately from your seeds, in order to streamline the process.
If you have chosen a PLANT* (marked with a *), shipping costs are as follows:
1 to 6 PLANTS* will ship for $14.90
7 to 8 PLANTS* will ship for $19.90 (The shipping may be more if you buy other things in addition to plants.)
For 9 or more PLANTS* or if ordering plants NOT marked with a *, we will contact you with a UPS shipping estimate.