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Edible uses

There are no edible uses listed for Cowania mexicana.

Material uses

The fibres in the bark have been used for making sandals, rope, sleeping mats and clothing[1][2].

The bark has been crushed, rubbed until soft and then used as a lining in shoes to keep the feet warm[2]. It has also been used as an absorbent nappy for babies and as a soft surface for babies to lay on in cradles[2].

The fine, soft bark has been used as a tinder when starting fires with a fire drill[2].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

A decoction of the green branches, together with sagebrush (Artemisia spp) and juniper (Juniperus spp) has been used as an expectorant and laxative treatment for colds[2].

A decoction of the leaves and flowering stems has been used to treat venereal disease and pains over the kidneys[2]. The leaves have been chewed in the treatment of arthritis[2].

The leaves have been made into a tea for bathing and cleansing the skin[2]. It is an antiseptic wash, used for treating smallpox or measles[2].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - we have no information for this species, but suggest sowing the seed in spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Cowania mexicana. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Requires a very sunny position[3] and a calcareous soil[4]. This species is also likely to require a very well-drained light or medium soil[K].

The cliffrose is not very hardy in Britain, it is unlikely to succeed outdoors in any but the mildest areas of the country and will probably require the protection of a sunny wall even there[11, 200, K].

The flowers are resinous and strongly fragrant[1].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Cowania mexicana. 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 Cowania mexicana.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Cowania mexicana
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
    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
    2 x meters
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
    2. ? Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)

    Cite error: <ref> tag with name "PFAFimport-82" defined in <references> is not used in prior text.

    Facts about "Cowania mexicana"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyRosaceae +
    Belongs to genusCowania +
    Has binomial nameCowania mexicana +
    Has common nameCliffrose +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone9 +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useBaby care +, Fibre +, Insulation + and Tinder +
    Has mature height2 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAntiarthritic +, Antiseptic +, Expectorant +, Laxative + and Skin +
    Has search namecowania mexicana + and cliffrose +
    Has shade toleranceNo shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy + and Loamy +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameCowania mexicana +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
    Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedYes +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Cowania mexicana +, Cowania mexicana +, Cowania mexicana +, Cowania mexicana +, Cowania mexicana +, Cowania mexicana +, Cowania mexicana +, Cowania mexicana + and Cowania mexicana +