Uses

Toxic parts

None but may be mistaken for other toxic plants.

Edible uses

Notes

is called cous (sounds like "cows" with a softer 's' sound) or cous cous by the Nez Perce in Idaho and Washington. It is also known as "biscuit root". It was one of the most basic and prized food items in the tribe's diet and was widely traded with other Northwestern US tribes. The Nez Perce would camp every year near the cous fields until they had their yearly supply. Cakes were made of the dried meal for long journeys. Often the roots were baked in underground pits and eaten like potatoes, but the primary use was for coarse flour or meal.

The name "biscuit root" is descriptive: the root was the prime use of the plant, though the seeds could be used. It created a flour that was virtually tasteless, much like white wheat flour. Eaten also like potatoes, they had little taste by themselves. While other roots were available, the cous roots are large in comparison to most others and numerous locally. Many of the plants are in very rocky, dry soil which often makes it difficult to dig for them, however.

The cous spreads easily in poor and dry soil where few other plants will grow, so it often presents a striking field of yellow in spring.

Root

pounded and dried for flour, roasted, boiled as potatoes as a flour

Seed

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Lomatium cous.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Lomatium cous.

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed can be rather slow to germinate, when sown in the spring it usually takes at least 12 months to germinate. Giving it a period of cold stratification might reduce this time. The seedlings need to be pricked out into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle, and should be planted out into their permanent positions in the summer.

Fresh seed can be sown immediately in situ.

Division may be possible in spring or autumn.

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



Cultivation

We have almost no information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in much of the country.

It can be assumed that plants will require a dry to moist but well-drained soil in a sunny position. Polymorphic[1].

This is a taxonomically very difficult genus, many of the species now included in it have at times been included in other genera[1].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Lomatium cous. 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 Lomatium cous.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Lomatium cous
Genus
Lomatium
Family
Umbelliferae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
  • Seed (grain)
  • Root (flour)
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
?
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
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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