Osha Culture
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Barbara J Harris
Posted on: June 7, 1999

I was surprised I could find nothing on how to grow Osha seeds. Could you help me to know what conditions this plant likes best?

According to Deni Bown’s book "Encyclopedia of Herbs and their Uses" the genus Ligusticum seems to be closely related to lovage. It grows at higher elevations and some species of the genus have been given the common name of Alpine lovage. Ligusticum porteri comes from the southern Rocky Mountains from elevations of 2,400 to 3,600 meters. It prefers well-drained to dry soil in sun. Roots are havested in fall and used fresh or dried for oil extraction, decoctions and tinctures.

The seeds may need outdoor treatment for best germination. The rapidly oscillating temperatures found between day and night in an outdoors environment are needed by some seeds to break dormancy. Dr Norman C Deno in the first supplement to his "Seed Germination Theory and Practice" found that the species L. scoticum had the best germination under outdoors treatment. For the outdoors treatment he placed seeds on moistened paper towels loosely folded into a plastic bag and left them over the winter in an unheated shed. Germination occurred in March under this treatment. Chances are that other members of this genus need similar treatment.

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