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Schoenoplectus californicus tatora - (C.A.Mey.)

Common Name Totora
Family Cyperaceae
USDA hardiness 6-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Brackish to fresh marshes, shores, often emergent in water; at elevations from sea level to 1,400 metres in North America[270]. Shallow water of lake shores, ranging from sea level to about 1,700 metres in Guatemala[331]
Range S. America - Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador; C. America - Honduras, El Salvador to Mexico and southern N. America
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Water Plants Semi-shade Full sun
Schoenoplectus californicus tatora Totora


Leonora (Ellie) Enking wikimedia.org
Schoenoplectus californicus tatora Totora
PIERRE ANDRE LECLERCQ wikimedia.org

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Schoenoplectus californicus tatora is an evergreen Perennial growing to 2 m (6ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can grow in water.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Many but not with high confidence levels. The genus Schoenoplectus is closely related to Scirpus and sometimes included therein.

Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root  Stem
Edible Uses:

Rhizomes - cooked[301 ]. Baked, or dried for later use[301 ]. Stems - cooked[301 ]. The lower 30cm of the stem is peeled and baked, or dried for later use[301 ].

References

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

Now available: PLANTS FOR YOUR FOOD FOREST: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens.

An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

This subspecies totora, Schoenoplectus californicus subsp, is famous for making up the floating islands of Lake Titicaca dwell. On the mid-coast of Peru, totora has been used for over 3,000 years to build caballitos de totora - small rowed and straddled fishing vessels. The tough, soft culms are used for making mats, baskets, chair seats, houses, boats, and other objects[270, 331]. Carbon Farming Solutions - Industrial Crop: biomass (Crops grown for non-food uses. Industrial crops provide resources in three main categories: materials, chemicals, and energy. Traditional materials include lumber and thatch, paper and cardboard, and textiles) [1-1].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

References

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Biomass  Management: Hay  Regional Crop

Climate: tropical highlands. Humidity: aquatic. A plant of low to medium elevations in the warm temperate to tropical zones. Growing in moist and wet terrestrial habitat, and in shallow water. The root system is well-developed. Prefers waterlogged soils in full sun or part shade. Often grows at a water depth of 2.5–3m (8.2–9.8ft) but occurs less frequently as deep as 5.5m (18ft). Carbon Farming Solutions - Cultivation: regional crop. Management: hay (Describes the non-destructive management systems that are used in cultivation) [1-1].

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Biomass  Three broad categories: bamboos, resprouting woody plants, and giant grasses. uses include: protein, materials (paper, building materials, fibers, biochar etc.), chemicals (biobased chemicals), energy - biofuels
  • Management: Hay  Cut to the ground and harvested annually. Non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.

References

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed, Division

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

California bulrush, Southern bulrush, Giant bulrush, Tule, Giant bulrush sedge, Totora

Found In

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

Native to the southern and western United States as well as Mexico, Central America, South America, Easter Island, and the Falkland Islands. It is naturalized on some Pacific islands including New Zealand, Hawaii and the Cook Islands.

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.

A possible weed.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

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.

 

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Author

(C.A.Mey.)

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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