• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Mandragora officinarum

common mandrake

Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9

Join now
  • Other common names common mandrake
    devil's apple

    devil's candle
    devil's food
    medicinal mandrake

    see more
  • Synonyms Atropa mandragora
    Mandragora vernalis

  • Family Solanaceae

  • Genus Mandragora are perennials with fleshy taproots producing large rosettes of leaves and stemless, bell-shaped flowers followed by fleshy fruits

  • Details M. officinarum is a perennial with a fleshy tap root producing a rosette of dark green leaves up to 30cm long, upright at first then lying flat on the ground. In spring, a cluster of upright, bell-shaped flowers, greenish-white with purple staining, appear in the centre of the rosette, followed by yellow fruit

  • Plant range S Europe

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Toxicity Alkaloids in the plant may be harmful if ingested. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H4

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered

Soil

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Loam

    Loam

  • Sand

    Sand

  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilChalk, Loam, Sand

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in deep, well-drained soil in a warm, sunny position, protected from cold, drying wind and excessive winter wet. Avoid disturbance once established

Propagation Propagate by seed sown as soon as ripe or in autumn or root cuttings taken in winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Wall-side Borders Cottage & Informal Garden Rock Garden

How to care

Pruning No pruning needed

Pests Slugs and snails may damage leaves and fruit

Diseases Generally disease free

Did you find the information you were looking for?

RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.

Join the RHS now

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.