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Author:Kristian Peters -- Fabelfroh 11:53, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
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Ononis spinosa

Spiny Restharrow, Thornyleaf Ononis

In Stock: 0.014 lb (Total:0.014lb)
  • ONONIS spinosa

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0.01 lb


Germination test:
Cut (Full Seed)
Seeds per lb:
0.01 lb
Collected in:
Crop year:
Min. hardiness zone:
Item ID:

Growing Info

Scarification: Soak in cold water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratification: none required
Germination: sow seed 1/4" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed

Ononis spinosa, also known as spiny restharrow or just restharrow, is a plant belonging to the family Fabaceae. It is found throughout much of Europe but seldom as far north as Scotland. This perennial plant can reach a height of 0.6 meters and is in flower from May to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite and pollinated by bees. Ononis spinosa is known for its medicinal properties and has been used in traditional Russian herbal medicine as an anodyne, antiphlogistic, aperient, coagulant, and diuretic. It is believed to be beneficial in treating urinary catarrh, kidney inflammation, rheumatism, and skin problems. Additionally, it is used to aid those who accumulate uric acid and are susceptible to kidney stones.

In medieval Russia, spiny restharrow was used in the manufacturing of Bulat steel. The exact process is now lost, but it involved dipping the finished weapon into a vat containing a special liquid, which contained spiny restharrow extract. The weapon would then be held aloft while galloping on a horse, allowing it to dry and harden against the wind.

Ononis spinosa prefers a sunny position in well-drained neutral to alkaline soil. It can tolerate poor soils and can form thorny structures in such conditions. The plant's whole body is pleasantly scented when bruised. It has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, which form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. This nitrogen can be utilized by the plant itself and nearby plants.

Overall, Ononis spinosa is a versatile plant with historical significance, medicinal properties, and interesting physical characteristics. It is a valuable addition to any garden or landscape.

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