Calandrinia arizonica Rydb.
Calandrinia axilliflora Barnéoud
Calandrinia bonariensis Hauman
Calandrinia caulescens Kunth
Calandrinia caulescens Phil.
Calandrinia elegans Spach
Calandrinia feltonii Skottsb.
Calandrinia menziesii (Hook.) Torr. & A.Gray
Calandrinia micrantha Schltdl.
Calandrinia muricata Rydb.
Calandrinia phacosperma DC.
Calandrinia pulchella Lilja
Calandrinia speciosa Lindl.
Calandrinia stenophylla Rydb.
Calyptridium depressum A.Nelson
Claytonia alba caulescens (Kunth) Kuntze
Claytonia axilliflora (Barnéoud) Kuntze
Claytonia caulescens (Kunth) Kuntze
Claytonia ciliata (DC.) Kuntze
Claytonia menziesii (Torr. & A.Gray) Kuntze
Claytonia peruviana Kuntze
Claytonia speciosa (Lilja) Kuntze
Cosmia caulescens Dombey ex Spreng.
Cosmia montana Dombey ex DC.
Phacosperma peruviana Haw.
Rhodopsis speciosa Lilja
Talinum caulescens (Kunth) Spreng.
Talinum ciliatum Ruiz & Pav.
Talinum menziesii Hook.
Tegneria speciosa Lilja
Tetragonia peruviana Haw.
Common Name: Redmaids
Calandrinia ciliata is a prostrate to spreading, succulent annual plant, much-branched from the base; it can grow 3 - 40cm tall[
The seeds and leaves were an important food source for many native peoples in California and were harvested from the wild in quantity. They are still harvested from the wild for local use.
This plant may become weedy or invasive in some regions or habitats and may displace desirable vegetation if not properly managed[
The plant contains oxalic acid, so it should only be used in moderation[
]. Oxalic acid can lock up certain of the nutrients in food and, if eaten in excess, can lead to nutritional deficiencies. It is, however, perfectly safe in small amounts and its acid taste adds a nice flavour to salads. Cooking the plant will reduce the quantity of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition[
Western N. America - British Colombia to California, through Mexico to El Salvador; S. America - Venzuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile
Open grassy places, disturbed areas and cultivated fields, mainly in grassland, at elevations below 1,800 metres[
]. Open banks or fields, often on limestone or in sand, sometimes in Alnus forest, often abundant in cultivated fields[
Calandrinia ciliata has a very wide native range from the cool temperate regions of western N. America into the tropical regions of Central and S. America.
Prefers a hot sunny situation on a poor dry sandy soil[
]. Plants grow best in sandy to loamy soils with low to moderate nutrient availability[
]. Established plants are moderately drought tolerant[
Plants are intolerant of root disturbance, they are best treated as half-hardy annuals and sown in situ in late spring[
]. In frosty climates this species can become a self-sowing annual, the seed germinating in spring[
Calandrina ciliata is highly variable vegetatively, especially in size, but is uniform in flower, fruit, and seed[
Leaves and young shoots - raw, cooked or used as a garnish[
]. A tasty salad[
]. The whole plant is cooked and eaten like spinach, and is said to be one of the best of the wild pot herbs[
The leaves contain oxalic acid and so some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
Seed - raw or ground into a meal[
]. The seed can also be cooked as a piñole[
]. The seed is very small and fiddly to harvest, especially since it ripens intermittently over a period of several weeks[
]. However, it is rich in oil and was often collected in large quantities by native North American Indian tribes[
One method of harvesting was to pull the plants up and spread them out on a clean area to dry. The seeds were
separated by shaking or hitting the plants over the cleaned area or into a basket. Then they were placed into a tightly woven winnowing basket where they were tossed, allowing the moving air to remove any chaff. The seeds were then dried for storage or parched in a cooking basket along with hot coals. The parched seeds were pulverized in bedrock mortars into an oily meal, which was then prepared into balls and cakes[
Calandrinia ciliata is an early colonizer of disturbed areas. It increases in abundance following a fire because of the increase in nutrients and the decrease in competing grasses. The native Californians burned grasslands periodically to increase harvests of the plant as well as other fire-following species[
Seed - best sown in situ in spring since it strongly resents root disturbance. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 3 weeks at 20°c[