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Useful Temperate Plants

Astragalus hamosus

L.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Ankylobus hamosus (L.) Steven

Astragalus aegyptiacus Mill.

Astragalus ancistron Pomel

Astragalus arnoceras Bunge

Astragalus brachyceras Ledeb.

Astragalus buceras Willd.

Astragalus dorcoceras Bunge

Astragalus embergeri Jahand. & al.

Astragalus oncocarpus Pomel

Astragalus paui Pau

Astragalus stribrnyi Velen.

Astragalus taeckholmianus Oppenh.

Astragalus volubilitanus Braun-Blanq. & Maire

Hamosa astragalus Medik.

Tragacantha brachyceras (Ledeb.) Kuntze

Tragacantha buceras (Willd.) Kuntze

Tragacantha hamosa (L.) Kuntze

Common Name:

Astragalus hamosus

General Information

Astragalus hamosus is an erect to prostrate annual plant growing up to 55cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine. It has occasionally been cultivated as a novelty for its caterpillar-shaped seedpods[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Known Hazards

Many members of this genus contain toxic glycosides[
65
Title
A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Frohne. D. and Pfänder. J.
Publisher
Wolfe
Year
1984
ISBN
0723408394
Description
Brilliant. Goes into technical details but in a very readable way. The best work on the subject that I've come across so far.
].
A number of species can accumulate toxic levels of selenium when grown in soils that are relatively rich in that element[
65
Title
A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Frohne. D. and Pfänder. J.
Publisher
Wolfe
Year
1984
ISBN
0723408394
Description
Brilliant. Goes into technical details but in a very readable way. The best work on the subject that I've come across so far.
].
All species with edible seedpods can be distinguished by their fleshy round or oval seedpod that looks somewhat like a greengage.[
85
Title
Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains.
Publication
 
Author
Harrington. H. D.
Publisher
University of New Mexico Press
Year
1967
ISBN
0-8623-0343-9
Description
A superb book. Very readable, it gives the results of the authors experiments with native edible plants.
]

Botanical References

50
Title
Flora Europaea
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1964
ISBN
-
Description
An immense work in 6 volumes (including the index). The standard reference flora for Europe, it is very terse though and with very little extra information. Not for the casual reader.

Range

Macaronesia, throughout the Mediterranean to the Caucasus, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Arabian Peninsula

Habitat

Dry grassland[
45
Title
Flowers of Greece and the Balkans.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1980
ISBN
0-19-217626-9
Description
A good pocket flora, it also lists quite a few plant uses.
]. Semidesert areas in foothills and the low montane belt, on clay, loess, sand and rock debris[
261
Title
Legumes of Northern Eurasia
Publication
 
Author
Yakovlev. G. Sytin. A. & Roskov. Yu.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Year
1996
ISBN
0-947643-97-4
Description
For the academic only, a list of species growing in N. Eurasia with terse details on habitat, range, uses etc.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitAnnual
Height0.40 m
PollinatorsBees, Lepidoptera
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details


Requires a dry well-drained soil in a sunny position[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. Grows well in Cornwall[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Plants are intolerant of root disturbance and are best sown in situ[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
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[
1309
Title
The Leguminosae; A Source Book of Characteristics, Uses and Nodulation
Publication
 
Author
Allen O.N.; Allen E.K.
Publisher
University of Wisconsin
Year
1981
ISBN
0-333-32221-5
Description
An amazing and comprehensive work, giving a brief guide to the many genera of the family Fabaceae and also the principle uses of the genus.
]. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.
Many members of this genus can be difficult to grow, this may be due partly to a lack of their specific bacterial associations in the soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

Young seedpods - cooked[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
,
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. They quickly become tough and fibrous[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. The young seedpods are also used in salads. They have only a mediocre taste, but look very much like certain worms and so are used mainly for their novelty value[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
]. They look like caterpillars[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

The roasted seeds have been used as a coffee substitute[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Medicinal

The plant is demulcent, emollient, galactogogue and laxative[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
]. It is useful in treating irritation of the mucous membranes, nervous affections and catarrh[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - sow late winter in a greenhouse. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water. If any seed does not swell up in this time then carefully prick it with a needle making sure that you do not damage the embryo, and re-soak for a further 24 hours. Germination usually takes place within 3 - 6 weeks at 13°c[
134
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. As soon as it is large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2020-08-08. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Astragalus+hamosus>

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