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Common Name: Narrowleaf Pectis
Pectis angustifolia is a Annual/Perennial up to 0.20 metres tall.
It has edible, medicinal and miscellaneous uses.
Southern N. America - Wyoming to Nebraska south to Arizona, Texas and Mexico.
Dry uplands, usually on calcareous soils[
]. Deserts, grasslands, woodlands, sand bars and roadsides at elevations of 300 - 2300 metres[
We have very little information on this species. It can be grown outdoors in Britain as a half-hardy annual and requires a dry to moist light or medium well-drained soil in a sunny position[
There is some variety in this species with three different forms being recognised[
Pectis is unusual among Compositae in having the C4 photosynthetic pathway and the accompanying Kranz anatomy - leaves with vascular bundle sheath cells that contain numerous chloroplasts. All of the closely related genera have the C3 pathway. The selective advantage imparted by C4 photosynthesis (greatly reduced photorespiration in bundle sheath cells) has enabled Pectis species to occupy a variety of hot, dry habitats including deserts, tropical and subtropical grasslands, arid scrublands, and tropical beaches[
The flowers are spicily scented whilst the leaves also have an aromatic fragrance[
]. Leaves and phyllaries in all Pectis species are dotted with embedded pellucid glands (here called oil-glands)[
].. In some species, the liquid within the schizogenous cavities includes a mixture of strongly scented monoterpenes; in other species the gland contents have little or no aroma. Herbage containing strongly scented essential oils are described as 'lemon-scented' when citral is the predominant compound and 'spicy-scented' when other oils are predominant[
Leaves and young shoots - raw or cooked[
]. They are also used as a flavouring[
], they have a strong lemon-scent[
]. The leaves are eagerly collected by the Hopi Indians[
The plant is carminative and emetic[
]. The crushed leaves have been used in the treatment of stomach aches[
The blossoms, mixed with salt, have been eaten in the treatment of stomach complaints[
The plant yields an inferior dye[
]. No more details are given.
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts.
If you have sufficient seed it may be worthwhile trying an outdoor sowing in situ in mid to late spring.