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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Roots - cooked. They can be dried and ground into a powder, then used with wheat when making bread[1][2][3][4]. Although thin and stringy, the roots contain starch and enzymes and are quite sweet[5]. When boiled for a long time to break down the leathery membrane, a syrup can be made from the roots and this is sometimes brewed into a beer[6][5].

The roasted root is a coffee substitute[2]. Young leaves and shoots - eaten raw in spring salads[5]. A slightly sweet flavour, though quickly becoming very fibrous, they are rather less than wonderful[K]. The juice from these shoots is sometimes used as a spring tonic[4].

Seed[7]. A cereal mash can be made from them[5]. The seed is very small and there is a large husk surrounding it, so that effectively it is more like eating fibre than cereal[K].

Unknown part

Leaves

Material uses

An infusion of the whole plant is a good liquid plant feed[8].

The plant has a long creeping root system and so it has been planted in sand dunes near the coast to bind the soil together[9].

A grey dye is obtained from the roots[10].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Couch grass is of considerable value as a herbal medicine, the roots being very useful in the treatment of a wide range of kidney, liver and urinary disorders[9]. They have a gentle remedial effect which is well-tolerated by the body and has no side-effects[11]. This plant is also a favourite medicine of domestic cats and dogs, who will often eat quite large quantities of the leaves[9].

The roots are antiphlogistic, aperient, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, lithontripic and tonic[9][5]. They are harvested in the spring and can be dried for later use[9].

A tea made from the roots is used in cases of urinary incompetence and as a worm expellent[12]. It is also an effective treatment for urinary tract infections such as cystitis and urethritis[13]. It both protects the urinary tubules against infections and irritants, and increases the volume of urine thereby diluting it[13]. Externally it is applied as a wash to swollen limbs[12].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Earth stabiliser

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

This species is a pernicious weed and will not require assistance in spreading itself.

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



Cultivation

Couch grass can succeed in any soil, though it grows best in light sandy soils[11]. It is a rapidly spreading, persistent and pernicious weed that should only be introduced with great caution. It tolerates a pH in the range 4.2 to 8.3.

Some modern works have now separated this species off into a new genus as Elytrigia repens. A food plant for the caterpillars of many butterfly and moth species.

This species can become a pernicious weed, spreading rapidly by underground rhizomes[9] and quickly forming a dense mat of roots in the soil that strangles other plant growth[K]. Even the smallest fragment of root is capable of regenerating into a new plant, thus making it exceedingly difficult to get rid of. A good thick mulch through which nothing can grow, can be applied to the area, though it will need to be left in place for at least two growing seasons to be fully effective[K]. Despite its antisocial tendency in the garden, couch is a very useful herbal medicine and Culpepper is said to have stated that half an acre of couch was worth five acres of carrots twice over[9].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Elytrigia repens. 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 Elytrigia repens.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Elytrigia repens
Genus
Elytrigia
Family
Gramineae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
?
Heat Zone
?
Water
high
Sun
full sun
Shade
permanent shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    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.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Kweek bloeiwijze Elytrigia repens.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Kweek bloeiwijze Elytrigia repens.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


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    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Loewenfeld. C. and Back. P. Britain's Wild Larder. David and Charles ISBN 0-7153-7971-2 ()
    2. ? 2.02.12.2 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.2 Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (1990-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.55.6 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237. U.S. Depf of Agriculture. ()
    8. ? 8.08.1 Hatfield. A. W. How to Enjoy your Weeds. Frederick Muller Ltd ISBN 0-584-10141-4 (1977-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.59.69.79.8 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Coon. N. The Dictionary of Useful Plants. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-090-x (1975-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.2 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.2 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.2 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    14. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)

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    Facts about "Elytrigia repens"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyGramineae +
    Belongs to genusElytrigia +
    Functions asEarth stabiliser +
    Has binomial nameElytrigia repens +
    Has common nameCouch Grass +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partUnknown part +, Leaves +, Root + and Seed +
    Has edible useCoffee + and Unknown use +
    Has fertility typeWind +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has imageKweek bloeiwijze Elytrigia repens.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useDye + and Liquid feed +
    Has mature height0.6 +
    Has mature width1 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAntiphlogistic +, Aperient +, Demulcent +, Diuretic +, Emollient +, Lithontripic + and Tonic +
    Has primary imageKweek bloeiwijze Elytrigia repens.jpg +
    Has search nameelytrigia repens + and couch grass +
    Has shade tolerancePermanent shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceVery acid +, Acid +, Neutral +, Alkaline + and Very alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameElytrigia repens +
    Has water requirementshigh +
    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 migratedYes +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
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