Appearance''S.ebulus'' grows to a height of 1–2 m and has erect, usually unbranched stems growing in large groups from an extensive perennial underground stem rhizome. The leaves are opposite, pinnate, 15–30 cm long, with 5-9 leaflets with a foetid smell. The stems terminate in a corymb 10–15 cm diameter with numerous white flat-topped hermaphroditeflowers. The fruit is a small glossy black berry 5–6 mm diameter. The ripe fruit give out a purple juice.
The name danewort comes from the belief that it only grows on the sites of battles that involved the Danes. The term 'walewort' or 'walwort' meant 'foreigner plant.' The plant's stems and leaves turn red in autumn and this may explain the link with blood. The word Dane may link to an old term for diarrhoea.
Uses''S.ebulus ''fruits'' ''have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract and fever.
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