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Toxic parts

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].

Edible uses


Young leaves - cooked[1][2]. A delicious taste, they are used as a vegetable[3]. A nutritional analysis is available[4]. 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[5][1][2]. 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[4].


Material uses

The whole plant is used as a broom[5][6]. The green form is used[7].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Antibacterial, antifungal[8].

The leaves and fruits are cardiotonic and diuretic[4][9]. The stems are used in the treatment of dysentery, diarrhoea and dyspepsia[4].

The seed is antiphlogistic, astringent and diuretic[10][4]. It is used to treat skin infections such as eczema ad scabies, and diseases of the urinary tract[10][4][11]. The seed contains harmine, which can have adverse effects upon the gastro-intestinal tract and the central nervous system[11].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


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[12], it succeeds in ordinary garden soil[7]. Succeeds in any reasonably fertile light well-drained but moisture retentive soil in a sunny position[12].

A frost tender plant, it is grown as a spring-sown annual in Britain[7]. This species is cultivated in Korea for its use as a broom[6].

The subspecies B. scoparia trichophylla. (Schmeiss.)Schinz.&Thell. is the form most often found in cultivation in Britain[12].


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.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Bassia scoparia
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
Flower Colour
Flower Type


  1. ? Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
  2. ? Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.1 Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre (1977-00-00)
  4. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
  5. ? Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  6. ? Wilson. E. H. and Trollope. M. N. Corean Flora. Royal Asiatic Society (1918-00-00)
  7. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.1 Stuart. Rev. G. A. Chinese Materia Medica. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre ()
  9. ? 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. ? Yeung. Him-Che. Handbook of Chinese Herbs and Formulas. Institute of Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles (1985-00-00)
  11. ? Medicinal Plants in the Republic of Korea World Health Organisation, Manila ISBN 92 9061 120 0 (1998-00-00)
  12. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  13. ? Hitchcock. C. L. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press (1955-00-00)
  14. ? Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J [Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas] Botanical Research Institute, Texas. (1999-00-00)

Facts about "Bassia scoparia"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyChenopodiaceae +
Belongs to genusBassia +
Has binomial nameBassia scoparia +
Has common nameSummer Cypress +
Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
Has edible partLeaves + and Seed +
Has edible useUnknown use +
Has environmental toleranceHigh wind +
Has fertility typeWind +
Has hardiness zone6 +
Has lifecycle typeAnnual +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useBroom +
Has mature height0.3 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAntibacterial +, Antifungal +, Antiphlogistic +, Astringent +, Cardiotonic +, Diuretic + and Skin +
Has search namebassia scoparia + and summer cypress +
Has shade toleranceNo shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
Has soil texture preferenceSandy + and Loamy +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
Has taxonomy nameBassia scoparia +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Tolerates windYes +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Bassia scoparia +, Bassia scoparia +, Bassia scoparia +, Bassia scoparia +, Bassia scoparia +, Bassia scoparia +, Bassia scoparia +, Bassia scoparia +, Bassia scoparia + and Bassia scoparia +