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Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils, but is in general more productive of seeds when grown on soils of moderate fertility. It does less well in rich heavy soils or poor ones. Does well in a loamy soil. Very suitable for an alkaline soil, but it dislikes very acid soils. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.8 to 7.5. Plants are fairly wind tolerant. Plants are hardy to about -30°c. They thrive in a short growing season. This species is occasionally cultivated for its edible seed in N. America but is of no value in Britain as a seed bearer. Plants can bear fruit in 5 - 6 years from seed. Members of this genus bear transplanting well and can be easily moved even when relatively large.
Seed - best sown as soon as it is harvested in autumn in a cold frame. Germinates in late winter or spring. Stored seed should be pre-soaked in warm water for 48 hours and then given 2 weeks warm followed by 3 - 4 months cold stratification. Germinates in 1 - 6 months at 20°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame or sheltered place outdoors for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer[K]. Layering in autumn. Easy, it takes about 6 months. Division of suckers in early spring. Very easy, they can be planted out straight into their permanent positions.
Eastern and Central N. America.
Seed - raw or cooked. Very popular in America, the seed is sweet and well-flavoured with a thin shell. The seed can be dried and ground into a powder which is added to cereals and used in making bread, pies etc. The seed ripens in mid to late autumn and will probably need to be protected from squirrels[K]. When kept in a cool place, and not shelled, the seed should store for at least 12 months[K]. An edible oil is obtained from the seed.
Young sucker shoots are used to make a rope. The shoots are soaked in urine first, to make them more pliable. A blue dye is obtained from the root or inner bark. The branches are used in basketry.
An infusion of the branches and leaves has been used in the treatment of heart complaints and intestinal disorders. A decoction of the bark has been given to children to alleviate teething pain.
- Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
- Elias. T. and Dykeman. P. A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants. Van Nostrand Reinhold ISBN 0442222009 (1982-00-00)
- Turner. N. J. and Szczawinski. A. Edible Wild Fruits and Nuts of Canada. National Museum of Natural Sciences (1978-00-00)
- Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains. University of New Mexico Press ISBN 0-8623-0343-9 (1967-00-00)
- Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
- Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
- Turner. N. J. Plants in British Columbian Indian Technology. British Columbia Provincial Museum ISBN 0-7718-8117-7 (1979-00-00)
- Natural Food Institute, Wonder Crops. 1987. ()
- Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
- Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)
- Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
- Howes. F. N. Nuts. Faber (1948-00-00)
- Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)
- F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
- Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
- Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4. Thompson and Morgan. (1990-00-00)
- Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)