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Common Name: Showy Tarweed
Madia densifolia is an annual plant that can grow up to 0.75 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
South-western N. America - Washington to California.
Dry open places[
We have very little information on this species and do not know how well it will grow in Britain, though it should succeed as a spring-sown annual. Some botanists say that it is no more than a form of M. elegans, a species that does succeed in this country[
]. The following notes are based on the needs of that species.
Succeeds in any good garden soil[
]. Prefers a deep open sharply drained soil in a sunny position[
]. Another report says that it is best in a shady position[
The flowers open in the morning or evening, closing when exposed to bright sunlight[
Seed - raw or cooked[
]. Although quite small, the seed was a staple food for some native North American Indian tribes[
]. Rich in oil, it can be roasted then ground into a powder and eaten dry, mixed with water, or combined with cereal flours[
]. The seed was also used as piñole[
Seed - sow in mid spring in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within a couple of weeks.