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Common Name: Squaw Grass
Leymus triticoides is a perennial plant that can grow up to 1.20 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
Western N. America - Washington to California and east to Montana.
Dry to moist river flats, saline meadows and sand dunes[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of this country. The plant has extensively creeping rhizomes and often forms large clumps in the wild[
]. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Succeeds in most soils, preferring a sandy soil and a sunny position[
Seed - cooked[
]. Used as a piñole[
]. The seed can be ground into a flour and used to make bread, cakes, porridge or as a cereal[
]. The seed is rather small and fiddly to harvest. The hairs on the seed must be removed before consumption. The N. American Indians would singe the seed in order to remove these hairs[
The leaves are used in basket making and for making mats, rope, paper etc[
Seed - sow mid spring in situ and only just cover the seed[
]. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.
If the supply of seed is limited, it can also be sown in mid spring in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in summer[
Division in spring or summer[
]. 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.