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Common Name: Western Waterleaf
Hydrophyllum occidentale is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Western N. America - Oregon to California.
Thickets, dense or open woods and moist open places[
We have almost no information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain though judging by the plants native range it should succeed outdoors at least in the milder areas of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Requires a moist humus-rich soil in semi-shade[
Slugs are particularly fond of this plant and will soon destroy it if given a chance[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
Root - cooked[
]. Used as a staple food by some native North American Indian tribes[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in early spring. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in spring or autumn[
]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.