Improvement status: Cultivated wild material
Seeds per packet: ~100
Germination tested 12/2021: 84%
Life cycle: Annual or tender perennial
Also called "toothache plant" for its numbing qualities, this pretty plant from Brazil has loads of yellow and red pin-cushion- or thimble-looking flowers. Other names include "electric daisy" and "paracress." It is used medicinally not just for tooth pain, but for ulcers and other wound healing. It is anti-inflammatory and may help fight infections. It can cause excessive salivation, which may make it useful for cancer patients and others dealing with chronic dry mouth. Some eat the leaves as a vegetable, or simply to experience the powerful numbing — yet stimulating — properties of this amazing plant. In our experience, the fresh flowers are the strongest.
Our seed comes from Eileen Wallding and Nicholas Pandjiris at Whistle Down Farm in Hudson, NY.