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Hoffmannseggia densiflora - Benth. ex A.Gray.

Common Name Indian Rush-Pea
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Heavy, alkaline soils at elevations below 900 metres[71 ]. Roadsides and disturbed areas in Texas[274 ]. Subarid areas and dry mountains, growing on dry, stony, or saline soils at elevations from sea level to 3,400 metres[1493 ].
Range SW. & Central U.S.A. to Mexico, Bolivia to S. South America.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Hoffmannseggia densiflora Indian Rush-Pea

Hoffmannseggia densiflora Indian Rush-Pea


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This name is a synonym of Hoffmannseggia glauca. Hoffmannseggia glauca is a perennial plant growing from a rhizomatous rootstock with long, underground stems which bear small dark blackish-brown, spheroid tubers ('hog potatoes') up to Icm in diameter. The aerial stems are usually unbranched, up to 40cm tall[1493 ]. The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as food. It is said to have good ornamental value[330 ]. This species can spread aggressively, at least in part, using its underground stems and tubers. It has spread to the Mediterranean and is considered an aggressive grassland weed in its native range[1493 ].

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Hoffmannseggia densiflora is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft). The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies), Diptera.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Homotypic Synonyms: Caesalpinia falcaria Fisher. Caesalpinia glauca (Ortega) Kuntze. Hoffmannseggia falcaria Cav. Larrea glauca Ortega. Heterotypic Synonyms: Caesalpinia chicamana Killip & J.F.Macbr. Caesalpinia falcaria var. capitata (Fisher) Fisher. Caesalpinia falcaria var. densiflora (Benth. ex A.Gray) Fisher. Caesalpinia falcaria var. pringlei (Fisher) Fisher. Caesalpinia falcaria var. rusbyi (Fisher) Fisher. Caesalpinia falcaria var. stricta (Benth.) Fisher. Caesalpinia glauca var. glandulosissima Kuntze. Caesalpinia glauca var. pauciglandulosa Kuntze. H. alpina Gillies ex Hook. & Arn. H. chinensis Miers ex Hook. & Arn. H. demissa Benth. H. densiflora Benth. H. falcaria var. capitata Fisher. H. falcaria var. demissa (A.Gray) Fisher. H. falcaria var. pringlei Fisher. H. falcaria var. rusbyi Fisher. H. falcaria var. stricta (Benth.) Fisher. H. stricta Benth. in Smithsonian Contr. Knowl. 3(5): 56 (1852) H. stricta var. demissa A.Gray. Larrea densiflora (Benth.) Britton. Poinciana hirsuta Sessé & Moc.

Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root
Edible Uses:

Tuber - roasted[61 , 161 , 177 , 274 , 1493 ]. The roasted tubers were relished by the native N. Americans[1309 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

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

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Hoffmannseggia glauca is native to mainly sub-arid climates and is not very cold-hardy, being able to tolerate short-lived temperatures falling to around -8°c when fully dormant[330 ]. It can tolerate occasional snow cover up to 2 weeks a year[330 ]. The plant is likely to require a sunny position and to succeed in alkaline and heavy soils[K ]. Plants are known to tolerate at least some soil salinity. Established plants are very drought-tolerant [1493 ]. Although many species within the family Fabaceae have a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria, this species is said to be devoid of such a relationship and, therefore, does not fix atmospheric nitrogen[1309 ]. Cultivation: Ornamental, Wild.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed -

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Hog potato, Indian rushpea, or pignut

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Native to: Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Argentina South, Arizona, Bolivia, California, Chile Central, Chile North, Colorado, Kansas, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southwest, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Peru, Texas. Introduced into: Canary Is.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


Benth. ex A.Gray.

Botanical References


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