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Hedysarum occidentale - Greene.                
                 
Common Name Liquorice Root, Western sweetvetch
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
Synonyms
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry and often rocky soils of open areas, from the plains to about 2,600 metres[212].
Range Western N. America - Montana to Washington, south to Utah and Colorado.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Hedysarum occidentale is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It can fix Nitrogen.


USDA hardiness zone : 4-8


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Hedysarum occidentale Liquorice Root, Western sweetvetch


Hedysarum occidentale Liquorice Root, Western sweetvetch
   
Habitats       
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Root.
Edible Uses:

Root - raw or cooked[212]. Long and sweet with a liquorice-like flavour[183]. Used in the spring it is crisp and juicy' but it becomes tough and woody as the season advances.
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Easily grown in ordinary garden soil in a sunny position, preferring a deep well-drained sandy loam[1, 200]. Plants strongly resent root disturbance and should be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible[1]. This species is closely related to H. boreale[212]. Does well in the rock garden or border[1]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe or in the spring[200]. Stored seed should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in warm water. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in spring. Great care is needed since the plant dislikes root disturbance[200].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Greene.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[212]Craighead. J., Craighead. F. and Davis. R. A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers
Excellent little pocket guide to the area, covering 590 species and often giving details of their uses.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Wed May 17 2006
The herb does have medicinal uses (particulary for treating ulcers) more uses can be found with a simple google search
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Subject : Hedysarum occidentale  
             

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