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Common Name: California Compass Plant
Wyethia angustifolia is a perennial plant that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Western N. America - Washington to California.
Seasonally moist meadows[
], open grassy slopes to 1600 metres in California[
]. Meadows, grassy slopes, chaparral, wet to dry openings in pine and pine-oak forests, 20 - 2100 metres[
Requires a free-draining, gritty but moisture-retentive soil in a sunny position[
]. Plants are intolerant of drought[
According to [
] this species requires climatic zone 9, meaning that it can only tolerate occasional light frosts. This is somewhat questionable since the plant's native range extends northwards to Washington where the winter temperatures often fall much lower than this.
Seed - cooked. They can be used as a piñole[
]. The seed can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickener in soups or can be added to cereal flours when making bread etc[
Young leaves - raw[
A poultice of the pounded root has been used to draw blisters[
A decoction of the leaves has been used as a bath to promote perspiration and thereby treat fevers[
A lemon-yellow dye is obtained from the flowers[
A gold to brass dye is obtained from the flowers, leaves and stems[
Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse or cold frame in early spring. Use a very freely-draining compost, prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant out into their permanent positions when they are large enough.
Careful division of the crown as the plants come into growth in spring[