Plants contain some saponins and should not be eaten in large quantities. Saponins are a toxin found in many of our daily foods such as many beans. They are usually present in quantities too small to be concerned about and are also very poorly absorbed by the body, tending to pass straight through without causing any problems. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].
Young leaves - cooked
. A delicious taste, they are used as a vegetable
. A nutritional analysis is available
. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
Seed - dried and ground into a powder then mixed with cereals when making bread, biscuits etc
. Very small and fiddly to use, it is also not a very reliable crop in Britain due to its late season of flowering[K]. On a zero moisture basis, the seed contains 20.4 - 27.5% protein, 8.8 - 16% fat and 3.4 - 9.4% ash
The whole plant is used as a broom
. The green form is used
The leaves and fruits are cardiotonic and diuretic.
The stems are used in the treatment of dysentery, diarrhoea and dyspepsia.
The seed is antiphlogistic, astringent and diuretic
. It is used to treat skin infections such as eczema ad scabies, and diseases of the urinary tract
. The seed contains harmine, which can have adverse effects upon the gastro-intestinal tract and the central nervous system
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and plant out in May. The seed can also be sown in situ in late April or early May.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Bassia scoparia. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
An easily grown plant
, it succeeds in ordinary garden soil
. Succeeds in any reasonably fertile light well-drained but moisture retentive soil in a sunny position
A frost tender plant, it is grown as a spring-sown annual in Britain.
This species is cultivated in Korea for its use as a broom.
The subspecies B. scoparia trichophylla. (Schmeiss.)Schinz.&Thell. is the form most often found in cultivation in Britain
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Bassia scoparia. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Bassia scoparia.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
? 1.01.11.2 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
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? 8.08.1 Stuart. Rev. G. A. Chinese Materia Medica. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre ()
? 9.09.1 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
? 10.010.110.2 Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles (1985-00-00)
? 11.011.111.2 Medicinal Plants in the Republic of Korea World Health Organisation, Manila ISBN 92 9061 120 0 (1998-00-00)
? 12.012.112.212.3 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
? Hitchcock. C. L. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press (1955-00-00)
? Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J [Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas] Botanical Research Institute, Texas. (1999-00-00)