Spikenard in bulk
shopping: one variety
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Aralia racemosa


plant overview
sweet taste, woodsy scent

Spikenard, also called muskroot, is a perennial, aromatic herb in the same family as valerian. It is an herb of antiquity that is mentioned several times in the Bible and its sweet, musky aroma is referenced by the king in the Song of Solomon. Because the herb is historically used to banish fleas, spikenard is also known as fleabane. The plant is native to the Himalayan Mountain regions of India, China and Nepal, where it is known as nardin or nard and is used to produce a highly fragrant essential oil for the perfume and cosmetic industries. The root, which has a flavor similar to anise, is used to sweeten teas and other beverages.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on spikenard

Aralia racemosa, or spikenard as it is commonly called, is an ornamental plant in the Araliaceae family.

Spikenard's freely branching, dark maroon to near black stems are glabrous (smooth: free from down) and rise from large aromatic roots. The plant can reach heights of 3 to 5 feet—and infrequently as high as 10 feet.

The stems bear a only a few 2-3 pinnate compound leaves that are very large (up to 2 1/2 feet long), and each of which is divided and subdivided into numerous coarse oval-rounded leaflets—roughly 9-21, each being 2-6 inches in length—with toothed margins, cordate bases and pointed tips.

Numerous umbels of tiny greenish-white flowers are produced in long upright terminal (but sometimes axillary) panicles, each to 12-18 inches in length. Spikenard blooms in the early to mid-summer months (June to August). Flowers are followed by dense hanging clusters of drupes (with 1/4 inch diameters) which are basically inedible berries. These mature to dark purple.

common names & nomenclature
The plant's specific epithet is from the Latin word racemosus which means "flowers in racemes".

Also known as:
spikenard, american spikenard, indian nard, life-of-man, pettymorrel, spiceberry, spignet, spikenard, syrian nard, fleabane, ld man's root, muskroot, pigeon weed, nardin

Spikenard, the herb with a sweet taste and woodsy scent
Where in the World
habitat and range for spikenard

Aralia racemosa is native to the United States and Canada.

Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting spikenard

Spikenard is typically located on wooded slopes and ravines, shaded moist ledges, and bluffs in sun to part shade.

Spikenard prefers average, medium moisture, well-drained woodland soils.

Sow seeds as soon as they are ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed will require from 3-5 months of cold stratification. Germination usually takes place within 1-4 months at 20°C. When large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in the garden in early spring or summer.

The root is collected in late summer and the autumn and dried for later use.

Dried spikenard root pieces should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
Before making any changes to your diet you should always consult with your doctor,
especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have existing conditions.