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Useful Temperate Plants

Pueraria tuberosa

(Roxb. ex Willd.) DC.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Hedysarum tuberosum Roxb. ex Willd.

Common Name:

Pueraria tuberosa
Drawing of the leaves, flowers, fruit and seed
Photograph by: Kirtikar, K.R., Basu, B.D., Indian medicinal plants, Plates, vol. 2: t. 321 (1918)
Creative Commons License

General Information

Pueraria tuberosa is a vigorous climbing shrub growing from a large, tuberous rootstock - the tubers can weigh up to 35 kilos and are often produced in strings connected to the main roots by thin roots. Strong, twining stems up to 12mm in diameter and many metres long are produced, these scramble over the ground and climb into the surrounding vegetation[
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. The dried roots are sometimes sold in local markets for medicinal purposes[
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 
]. The plant is sometimes used in soil stabilization projects.

Known Hazards

Although this species is reported to have an edible root, there are said to be certain forms of the plant where the root is not considered to be edible and is instead used as a fish poison[
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 
].

Botanical References

51
Title
Flowers of the Himalayas.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O. and Stainton. A.
Publisher
Oxford Universtiy Press
Year
1984
ISBN
-
Description
A very readable and good pocket guide (if you have a very large pocket!) to many of the wild plants in the Himalayas. Gives many examples of plant uses.
,
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 

Range

E. Asia - sub-Himalayan tract from Pakistan through India to central Nepal

Habitat

Shrubberies and streamsides, at elevations from 300 - 2,000 metres[
51
Title
Flowers of the Himalayas.
Publication
 
Author
Polunin. O. and Stainton. A.
Publisher
Oxford Universtiy Press
Year
1984
ISBN
-
Description
A very readable and good pocket guide (if you have a very large pocket!) to many of the wild plants in the Himalayas. Gives many examples of plant uses.
]. Hill forests, deciduous vegetation, slopes, sides of rocky streams, growing in exposed and eroded areas, covering the ground, bushes and even trees[
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 
].
Altitude: 0-130

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitClimber
Height10.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Pueraria tuberosa is native to mainly sub-tropical regions in the lower elevations of the Himalayas, though it can be found at elevations up to 2,000 metres. It is unlikely to experience much frost, except at the higher parts of its range.
Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil[
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.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
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.
].

Edible Uses

Tubers - raw or cooked[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
,
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
,
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 
] .Mainly used in times of scarcity and then usually boiled[
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 
]. Rich in starch, the tubers have a liquorice flavour[
158
Title
Forest Flora of Chakrata, Dehra Dun and Saharanpur.
Publication
 
Author
Gupta. B. L.
Publisher
Forest Research Institute Press
Year
1945
ISBN
-
Description
A good flora for the middle Himalayan forests, sparsly illustrated. Not really for the casual reader.
,
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 
]. The starch is sometimes extracted for use as a food[
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 
]. Very large, the tubers can be up to 50cm long and 30cm in diameter, weighing up to 35 kilos in mature individuals[
158
Title
Forest Flora of Chakrata, Dehra Dun and Saharanpur.
Publication
 
Author
Gupta. B. L.
Publisher
Forest Research Institute Press
Year
1945
ISBN
-
Description
A good flora for the middle Himalayan forests, sparsly illustrated. Not really for the casual reader.
,
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 
]. Some forms of this plant are said to produce roots that are not edible - see notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal

The root is emetic, galactagogue and tonic. It is used to treat renal complaints and bowel conditions, and also as a demulcent and refrigerant in the treatment of fevers[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
,
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 
].
Applied externally, it is peeled and bruised to make a cataplasm, which is used to reduce swellings[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
]. It is crushed and rubbed on the body in the treatment of fevers and rheumatism[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
].

Extracts from the plant (part not specified, but likely to be the tuber[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]) showed anti-implantation activity in female rats[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plants vigorous growth and ability to cover the soil make it useful for controlling soil erosion[
1577
Title
Revision of the Genus Pueraria DC., with some notes on Teyleria Backer
Publication
Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85-1, 1985
Author
Ven der Maesen L.J.G.
Publisher
Agricultural University,Wageningen,theNetherlands
Year
1985
ISBN
90-6754-066-8
Description
 
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and sow in a warm greenhouse in early spring. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out after the last expected frosts[
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.
]. Cover the young plants with a frame or cloche until they are growing away well.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2019-12-05. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Pueraria+tuberosa>

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