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Common Name: Old Witch Grass
Panicum capillare is an annual plant that can grow up to 0.60 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
N. America - Nova Scotia to North Dakota, south to Florida and Texas. An occasional weed in Britain.
Open sandy or stony soil or cultivated land in N. America[
]. An occasional abundant weed of carrot crops in E. Anglia[
Requires a moderately fertile well-drained soil in full sun[
Seed - cooked whole or ground into a powder and used as a flour[
]. It is often mixed with corn[[
]. The seed is very small and fiddly to use, it has a mild flavour and can be used like millet[
]. In the wild, the seed stem breaks off when the seed is ripe and then blows away in the wind, scattering the seed[
An infusion of the leaves has been used as an emetic[
An infusion of the plant has been used as a reducing aid when dieting[
The grass can be made into brooms[
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within a week. Prick out the seedlings into trays or individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts[