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Useful Temperate Plants

Macrochloa tenacissima

(Loefl. ex L.) Kunth

Poaceae

+ Synonyms

Lasiagrostis tenacissima (L.) Trin. & Rupr.

Stipa gabesensis Moraldo, Raffaelli & Ricceri

Stipa kelibiae Moraldo, Raffaelli & Ricceri

Stipa kralifii Moraldo, Raffaelli & Ricceri

Stipa tenacissima Loefl. ex L.

Stipa tortilis Buch

Common Name: Esparto Grass

No Image.

General Information

Macrochloa tenacissima is a perennial grass with very stout stems; it usually grows up to 150cm tall, occasionally reaching 200cm. The plant forms a dense clump, with long, narrow leaves, which are very flexible and strong, around 50 - 60cm long[
1878
Title
Inventario Español de los Conocimientos Tradicionales Relativos a la Bioversidade. Primera Fase
Publication
 
Author
Santayana M.P. de; Morales R.; Aceituno L. & Molina M. (Edi
Publisher
Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente; Madrid
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Written in Spanish, detailed information on the traditional and modern used of over 40 species of plant. It is made freely available on the Internet as a PDF.
]
The plant is an important local resource and is harvested in large quantities from the wild for use as a source of materials. It is much used locally for weaving, making ropes etc, with items made from it sold in local markets. It is also employed on a commercial scale for making paper, ropes and many other items. The flowering stems are used in dried flower arrangements.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

50
Title
Flora Europaea
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1964
ISBN
-
Description
An immense work in 6 volumes (including the index). The standard reference flora for Europe, it is very terse though and with very little extra information. Not for the casual reader.
,
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.

Range

Western Mediterranean - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya

Habitat

Dry sandy calcareous or gypsaceous soils[
50
Title
Flora Europaea
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1964
ISBN
-
Description
An immense work in 6 volumes (including the index). The standard reference flora for Europe, it is very terse though and with very little extra information. Not for the casual reader.
].
Typical of steppe vegetation in dry or semi-arid environments, often growing on very poor or skeletal soils, preferably limestone, usually without agricultural value; at elevations up to 1,200 metres[
1878
Title
Inventario Español de los Conocimientos Tradicionales Relativos a la Bioversidade. Primera Fase
Publication
 
Author
Santayana M.P. de; Morales R.; Aceituno L. & Molina M. (Edi
Publisher
Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente; Madrid
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Written in Spanish, detailed information on the traditional and modern used of over 40 species of plant. It is made freely available on the Internet as a PDF.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitPerennial
Height1.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Macrochloa tenacissima is native to arid and semi-arid regions of the western Mediterranean, where it can be found at elevations up to 1,200 metres. It is somewhat cold-hardy, and is known to tolerate temperatures down to between -5 and -10°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.
]. It can be cultivated in moister regions so long as the soil is well-drained and the winters are not too harsh.
Requiring a sunny position, the plant is often found in the wild on very poor or skeletal soils, usually of an alkaline nature[
1878
Title
Inventario Español de los Conocimientos Tradicionales Relativos a la Bioversidade. Primera Fase
Publication
 
Author
Santayana M.P. de; Morales R.; Aceituno L. & Molina M. (Edi
Publisher
Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente; Madrid
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Written in Spanish, detailed information on the traditional and modern used of over 40 species of plant. It is made freely available on the Internet as a PDF.
]. It is easily grown in an ordinary well-drained garden soil in full sun, succeeding in dry soils[
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 fairly wind resistant[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
The leaves of wild plants are often harvested on a large scale and exported for their use in paper making[
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.
].
Old leaves accumulate at the base of the plant, which can live for more than 60 years[
1878
Title
Inventario Español de los Conocimientos Tradicionales Relativos a la Bioversidade. Primera Fase
Publication
 
Author
Santayana M.P. de; Morales R.; Aceituno L. & Molina M. (Edi
Publisher
Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente; Madrid
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Written in Spanish, detailed information on the traditional and modern used of over 40 species of plant. It is made freely available on the Internet as a PDF.
].

Edible Uses

The tender base of the inflorescence is sometimes chewed. It has a sweet taste[
1878
Title
Inventario Español de los Conocimientos Tradicionales Relativos a la Bioversidade. Primera Fase
Publication
 
Author
Santayana M.P. de; Morales R.; Aceituno L. & Molina M. (Edi
Publisher
Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente; Madrid
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Written in Spanish, detailed information on the traditional and modern used of over 40 species of plant. It is made freely available on the Internet as a PDF.
].

Medicinal

The root is astringent[
1878
Title
Inventario Español de los Conocimientos Tradicionales Relativos a la Bioversidade. Primera Fase
Publication
 
Author
Santayana M.P. de; Morales R.; Aceituno L. & Molina M. (Edi
Publisher
Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente; Madrid
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Written in Spanish, detailed information on the traditional and modern used of over 40 species of plant. It is made freely available on the Internet as a PDF.
]. An infusion is used to treat toothache[
1878
Title
Inventario Español de los Conocimientos Tradicionales Relativos a la Bioversidade. Primera Fase
Publication
 
Author
Santayana M.P. de; Morales R.; Aceituno L. & Molina M. (Edi
Publisher
Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente; Madrid
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Written in Spanish, detailed information on the traditional and modern used of over 40 species of plant. It is made freely available on the Internet as a PDF.
].

A decoction of the leaves is used as a mouth rinse to soothe toothaches[
1878
Title
Inventario Español de los Conocimientos Tradicionales Relativos a la Bioversidade. Primera Fase
Publication
 
Author
Santayana M.P. de; Morales R.; Aceituno L. & Molina M. (Edi
Publisher
Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente; Madrid
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Written in Spanish, detailed information on the traditional and modern used of over 40 species of plant. It is made freely available on the Internet as a PDF.
].

The green plant is emmenagogue and is used to treat a delayed period. It has also been used as an abortifacient[
1878
Title
Inventario Español de los Conocimientos Tradicionales Relativos a la Bioversidade. Primera Fase
Publication
 
Author
Santayana M.P. de; Morales R.; Aceituno L. & Molina M. (Edi
Publisher
Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente; Madrid
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Written in Spanish, detailed information on the traditional and modern used of over 40 species of plant. It is made freely available on the Internet as a PDF.
].

An ointment made from the ashes of the burnt grass, combined with vinegar.has been used to treat herpes[
1878
Title
Inventario Español de los Conocimientos Tradicionales Relativos a la Bioversidade. Primera Fase
Publication
 
Author
Santayana M.P. de; Morales R.; Aceituno L. & Molina M. (Edi
Publisher
Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente; Madrid
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Written in Spanish, detailed information on the traditional and modern used of over 40 species of plant. It is made freely available on the Internet as a PDF.
].

Other Uses

The leaves and stems are rich in strong fibres and have a wide range of uses. The leaves themselves can be used in weaving various items or making ropes etc, whilst the fibres extracted from them are used for making ropes, mats, paper and many other items[
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.
,
57
Title
Plants for Man.
Publication
 
Author
Schery. R. W.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
Fairly readable but not very comprehensive. Deals with plants from around the world.
,
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.
,
103
Title
Flowering Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Haywood. V. H.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
 
ISBN
0-19-217674-9
Description
Very readable and well illustrated, it lists plants by families giving the basic diagnostic features and some details of plant uses.
,
171
Title
Economic Botany.
Publication
 
Author
Hill. A. F.
Publisher
The Maple Press
Year
1952
ISBN
-
Description
Not very comprehensive, but it is quite readable and goes into some detail about the plants it does cover.
,
1878
Title
Inventario Español de los Conocimientos Tradicionales Relativos a la Bioversidade. Primera Fase
Publication
 
Author
Santayana M.P. de; Morales R.; Aceituno L. & Molina M. (Edi
Publisher
Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente; Madrid
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Written in Spanish, detailed information on the traditional and modern used of over 40 species of plant. It is made freely available on the Internet as a PDF.
].
The fibre obtained from the leaves is very strong[
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]).
] and is used on a large scale for making high quality paper[
171
Title
Economic Botany.
Publication
 
Author
Hill. A. F.
Publisher
The Maple Press
Year
1952
ISBN
-
Description
Not very comprehensive, but it is quite readable and goes into some detail about the plants it does cover.
,
1878
Title
Inventario Español de los Conocimientos Tradicionales Relativos a la Bioversidade. Primera Fase
Publication
 
Author
Santayana M.P. de; Morales R.; Aceituno L. & Molina M. (Edi
Publisher
Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente; Madrid
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Written in Spanish, detailed information on the traditional and modern used of over 40 species of plant. It is made freely available on the Internet as a PDF.
] The fibre is also widely used in construction as a reinforcement for plasters[
1878
Title
Inventario Español de los Conocimientos Tradicionales Relativos a la Bioversidade. Primera Fase
Publication
 
Author
Santayana M.P. de; Morales R.; Aceituno L. & Molina M. (Edi
Publisher
Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente; Madrid
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Written in Spanish, detailed information on the traditional and modern used of over 40 species of plant. It is made freely available on the Internet as a PDF.
]. Traditionally, it has been used to make wicks for lamps, durable footwear (espadrilles)[1878.
The leaves and stems are harvested in the summer and dried. They can then be used as they are (green esparto), or the leaves can be retted and cooked and the fibres extracted.then cut into usable pieces[
189
Title
Plant Fibres for Papermaking.
Publication
 
Author
Bell. L. A.
Publisher
Liliaceae Press
Year
1988
ISBN
0962507628
Description
A good practical section on how to make paper on a small scale plus details of about 75 species (quite a few of them tropical) that can be used.
,
1878
Title
Inventario Español de los Conocimientos Tradicionales Relativos a la Bioversidade. Primera Fase
Publication
 
Author
Santayana M.P. de; Morales R.; Aceituno L. & Molina M. (Edi
Publisher
Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente; Madrid
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Written in Spanish, detailed information on the traditional and modern used of over 40 species of plant. It is made freely available on the Internet as a PDF.
].

The plant is a source of a vegetable wax[
57
Title
Plants for Man.
Publication
 
Author
Schery. R. W.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
Fairly readable but not very comprehensive. Deals with plants from around the world.
]. No further details.

Old, dry plant material has been used as a fuel[
1878
Title
Inventario Español de los Conocimientos Tradicionales Relativos a la Bioversidade. Primera Fase
Publication
 
Author
Santayana M.P. de; Morales R.; Aceituno L. & Molina M. (Edi
Publisher
Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente; Madrid
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Written in Spanish, detailed information on the traditional and modern used of over 40 species of plant. It is made freely available on the Internet as a PDF.
].

Smoke from the burning plant pacifies bees and also disinfects the hive[
1878
Title
Inventario Español de los Conocimientos Tradicionales Relativos a la Bioversidade. Primera Fase
Publication
 
Author
Santayana M.P. de; Morales R.; Aceituno L. & Molina M. (Edi
Publisher
Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente; Madrid
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Written in Spanish, detailed information on the traditional and modern used of over 40 species of plant. It is made freely available on the Internet as a PDF.
].

Propagation

Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks, but make sure that the compost does not dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer. The seed can also be sown outdoors in mid spring.
Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2022-08-17. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Macrochloa+tenacissima>

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