Hedysarum esculentum taipeicum Hand.-Mazz.
Hedysarum vicioides taipeicum (Hand.-Mazz.) Liu
Hedysarum taipeicum is a herbaceous perennial plant producing a cluster of erect stems 30 - 40cm tall[
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.
E. Asia - central China (NW Hubei, Shaanxi).
Stony slopes, meadows; at elevations from 1,500 - 3,300 metres[
Hedysarum species generally grow best in a sunny position, though many can tolerate some shade. They are often found in somewhat alkaline soils in the wild, but are usually easy to grow in ordinary garden soils, preferring a deep well-drained sandy loam[
Species in this genus generally strongly resent root disturbance and should be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible[
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[
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[
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[
Seed - sow in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe or in the spring[
]. Stored seed benefits from scarification before sowing in order to speed up and improve germination[
]. 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[
]. 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[