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Useful Temperate Plants

Hedysarum alpinum

L.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Hedysarum elongatum Fisch. ex G.Lodd.

Hedysarum sibiricum Ledeb.

Hedysarum americanum (Michx.) Britton

Hedysarum auriculatum Eastw.

Hedysarum laxiflorum Baker f.

Hedysarum philoscia A.Nelson

Hedysarum smithianum Hand.-Mazz.

Common Name: Alpine Sweetvetch

No Image.

General Information

Hedysarum alpinum is a herbaceous perennial plant with numerous, erect stems growing from a thickened, elongate rootstock; it can grow 40 - 120cm tall[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. The plant spreads by means of rhizomes. Mature plants may have roots with multiple branches that are several feet long and 'as thick as a carrot'[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. The roots were an important food source for the native Alaskans and are still utilized by modern-day tribes[
1438
Title
Food Plants in the Americas: A Survey of the Domesticated, Cultivated, and Wild Plants Used for Human Food in North,
Publication
 
Author
Kermath B.M.; Bennett B.C.' Pulsipher L.M.
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
A pre-publication draft of an amazing, on-going work first started in 1985. It contains information on more than 3,900 taxa from the Americas - from Arctic regions to the Tropics
]. This is one of several Hedysarum species that have a long history of medicinal use in Chinese traditional medicine. It is harvested from the wild and traded in local markets. The plant is used in soil rehabilitation projects. The plant is the main source of the pharmaceutical drug 'alpizarin', an antiviral agent used in the treatment of herpes and other conditions[
1489
Title
Rational use of Hedysarum L., growing in Samara Oblast
Publication
News of the Samara Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 14, â„– 1 (9), 2012
Author
Popova I.A.; Plaksina T.I.; Kurkin V.A.; Ryzhov V.M.; Tarase
Publisher
 
Year
2012
ISBN
 
Description
 
].
The species is widespread and while it is possibly declining in parts of its range, it is not thought that any global population decline is likely to meet (or be close to meeting) the threshold for Vulnerable. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

43
Title
Gray's Manual of Botany.Eighth Edition
Publication
 
Author
Fernald. M. L.
Publisher
American Book Co.; New York
Year
1950
ISBN
0442222505
Description
A bit dated but a good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
,
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

Eurasia - northern European Russia east to Mongolia, the Russian Far East, northern China, Korea; N. America - Wyoming to New Hampshire an northwards

Habitat

Calcareous rocks and gravelly soils, north to Alaska[
43
Title
Gray's Manual of Botany.Eighth Edition
Publication
 
Author
Fernald. M. L.
Publisher
American Book Co.; New York
Year
1950
ISBN
0442222505
Description
A bit dated but a good and concise flora of the eastern part of N. America.
]. Swampy meadows, taiga forests, stony slopes, scrub[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. Forest meadows, birch and pine forests, slopes and bluff shores[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.60 m
PollinatorsBees, Insects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Hedysarum alpinum is primarily a plant of boreal or northern temperate climates where day lengths can range from periods of permanent dark in winter to 24 hours of light in the summer. It can tolerate very low temperatures - in some parts of its range the winter temperatures average -12°c, with absolute lows considerably lower. Summers are cool, often averaging no more than 12°c. The climate can be dry, as low as 119mm in some areas, whilst 711mm in just 48 hours has also been recorded[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
Prefers a sunny position, but also succeeds in light shade[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. Easily grown in ordinary garden soil, preferring a deep well-drained sandy loam[
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]).
,
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.
]. Plants are often found on dry to moist soils with a high pH in the wild[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
,
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. Plants are tolerant of occasional inundation of the soil[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. Plants can succeed in soils with a pH ranging from 4.5 - 8.4[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
Plants strongly resent root disturbance and should be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible[
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]).
].
The var. Hedysarum alpinum americanum. Michx. is the variety used for food[
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.
,
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.
].
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[
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

Root - raw or cooked[
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.
,
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.
]. Eaten raw, boiled or roasted[
1438
Title
Food Plants in the Americas: A Survey of the Domesticated, Cultivated, and Wild Plants Used for Human Food in North,
Publication
 
Author
Kermath B.M.; Bennett B.C.' Pulsipher L.M.
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
A pre-publication draft of an amazing, on-going work first started in 1985. It contains information on more than 3,900 taxa from the Americas - from Arctic regions to the Tropics
]. A carrot-like flavour[
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.
]. The root can be harvested from autumn until spring, it tastes best after some frosts[
172
Title
Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Schofield. J. J.
Publisher
Alaska Northwest Books; Alaska
Year
2003
ISBN
0882403699
Description
A nice guide to some useful plants in that area.
].

Medicinal

The areial parts of this plant are used in the pharmaceutical industry as the main source of the compound 'alpizarin', an antiviral, immunomodulatory, bacteriostatic and antibacterial agent. Alpizarin has also shown prominent cardiostimulant, capillary-strengthening, anti-inflammatory properties and enhances reparative processes in the gastric mucosa. It is used in tablet form and as an ointment to treat primary and secondary infection of the mucous membranes and skin by the herpes virus; shingles; warts etc[
1488
Title
Pharmacological properties of the new antiviral preparation alpizarin (in Russian)
Publication
Farmakol Toksikol. 1988 Jul-Aug;51(4):93-6.
Author
Sokolov SIa, Belova LF, Baginskaia AI, Leskova TE, Gorodniuk
Publisher
 
Year
1988
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

This species has a long histroy of medicinal use in China, where it is employed mainly to increase the energy of the body. It is used in the treatment of infestation with gastrointestinal nematodes, and may also support the immune system and peripheral nervous system[
1491
Title
Phytochemicals and biological studies of plants in genus Hedysarum
Publication
Chemistry Central Journal 2013, 7:124
Author
Yinmao Dong, Dongyan Tang, Na Zhang, Yue Li, Chunhong Zhang,
Website
http://journal.chemistrycentral.com/content/7/1/124
Publisher
 
Year
2013
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Various medicinally active compounds found in this and other Hedysarum species contribute to the antioxidant, anti-tumor, anti-aging, anti-diabetic, and anti-hypertensive properties of the plants[
1491
Title
Phytochemicals and biological studies of plants in genus Hedysarum
Publication
Chemistry Central Journal 2013, 7:124
Author
Yinmao Dong, Dongyan Tang, Na Zhang, Yue Li, Chunhong Zhang,
Website
http://journal.chemistrycentral.com/content/7/1/124
Publisher
 
Year
2013
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is used in rehabilitation projects on disturbed sites, usually growing well on subsoils and helping to restore fertility[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - sow in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe or in the spring[
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.
]. Stored seed benefits from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer.
Division in spring. Great care is needed since the plant dislikes root disturbance[
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.
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2018-12-16. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Hedysarum+alpinum>

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