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Useful Temperate Plants

Callirhoe pedata

(Nutt. ex Hook.) A.Gray

Malvaceae


There are several records regarding the traditional use of this species for food - all of them place its range in western or northwestern N. America (particularly Idaho, Wyoming and Nebraska). However, the plant is not native to that area, being found instead in central and southern N. America (mainly in Texas and Oklahoma). It is possible that the records on edibility are correct and the range was given in error, though it is also possible that the plant was wrongly identified.
This species has been confused in the past with Callirhoe digitata Nutt. (itself having edible roots), though that species also has a more southerly and easterly range.
Callirhoe involucrata (Torr. & A.Gray) A.Gray, which also has an edible root, is found in northwest N. America and so is a likely candidate.
Callirhoe pedata has also been commonly confused with Callirhoe leiocarpa R.F.Martin in literature, though this latter species also has a more southerly range and is an annual rather than perennial.
One final possibility - Callirhoe alcaeoides (Michx.) A.Gray is closely related to Callirhoe pedata and hybridizes with it where their ranges overlap in Oklahoma. This species, which has a long taproot, is also found in northwest N. America. The taproot of this last species is likely to be edible even though we have found no literature to support this[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Callirhoe digitata alba Waterf.

Callirhoe digitata stipulata Waterf.

Callirhoe pedata compacta Sprenger

Malva pedata (Nutt. ex Hook.) Torr. & A. Gray

Nuttallia pedata Nutt. ex Hook.

Sesquicella pedata Alef.

Common Name: Tall Poppy-Mallow

No Image.

General Information

Callirhoe pedata is an erect to weakly erect, herbaceous perennial plant growing from a thick, tuberous taproot; it produces a cluster of usually 2 - 5 stems (occasionally to 15 stems) 15 - 90cm tall[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].
The plant is probably harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

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.
,
228
Title
Flora of the Great Plains.
Publication
 
Author
McGregor. R. L. & Barkley. T. M.
Publisher
University Press of Kansas.
Year
1986
ISBN
070060295x
Description
A useful source of habitats.
,
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.

Range

Southern and central N. America - Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas

Habitat

Prairies, plains, woods and mesquite groves[
228
Title
Flora of the Great Plains.
Publication
 
Author
McGregor. R. L. & Barkley. T. M.
Publisher
University Press of Kansas.
Year
1986
ISBN
070060295x
Description
A useful source of habitats.
]. Open oak or oak-pine woods, mesquite woodlands, margins of woods, prairies, roadsides; at elevations from 100 - 500 metres[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.60 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Callirhoe pedata is hardy to about -15°c[
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.
].
Prefers a light rich sandy loam and 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]).
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
].
A polymorphic species[
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]).
].
Plants produce a deep taproot and resent root disturbance - they should be planted into their final positions as soon as possible[
138
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Bird. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1989
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation.
].
Slugs are strongly attracted to this plant and can destroy even established plants by eating out all the young shoots in spring[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Edible Uses

Root - 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.
,
22
Title
Alternative Foods.
Publication
 
Author
Sholto-Douglas. J.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
Not very comprehensive, it seems more or less like a copy of earlier writings with little added.
,
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
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.
]. Parsnip-shaped[
161
Title
Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237.
Publication
 
Author
Yanovsky. E.
Publisher
U.S. Depf of Agriculture.
Year
 
ISBN
-
Description
A comprehensive but very terse guide. Not for the casual reader.
].
There is some doubt about this record - see the notes above on Nomenclature

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - sow outdoors or in a cold frame. Plants resent root disturbance so the seed is best sown in situ in mid spring[
138
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Bird. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1989
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation.
], though the slugs will have a field day if you do not protect the plants[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. If seed is in short supply then sow it in pots in a cold frame, putting a few seeds in each pot, and plant the pots out in early summer once the plants have put on at least 15cm of growth. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 6 months at 15°c[
138
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Bird. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1989
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation.
].

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