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Useful Temperate Plants

Carex barbarae

Dewey

Cyperaceae

+ Synonyms

Carex laciniata Boott

Carex lacunarum Holm

Carex magnifica lacunarum (Holm) Kük.

Common Name: White Root

No Image.

General Information

Carex barbarae is a herbaceus perennial plant producing clusters of grass-like leaves and spreading freely from its long rhizomes to form large carpets of growth. It can grow around 30 - 100cm tall[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].
The plant was collected in large quantities by the native peoples, who used the root for basketry. They encouraged and tended the plants in their areas and would harvest it on a sustainable basis every 2 - 4 years[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
]. The plant is still a very desirable asset for basketry and, where the wild habitats still exist, the plant is commonly harvested[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].
Carex barbarae is one of the most difficult plants for basket weavers in California to obtain due to the elimination of traditional gathering sites and difficulty accessing those still remaining. Valley oak riparian woodlands have diminished to less than five percent of their original range. Carex barbarae, as an understorey dominant, has been reduced even further. Many traditional gathering sites have been eliminated or destroyed. Where gathering sites still exist, access for
native people to private or public lands has been difficult[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.

Range

Western N. America - Oregon, California

Habitat

Riparian areas, often dominant in the understorey of oak woodland, growing in moist places by streams or on slopes, occasionally bordering marshes, on open or brush slopes and valley flats that are wet in the spring; at elevations up to 900 metres[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Properties

Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.50 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsWind
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusSemi-cultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details


Sandy, moist soils are the preferred locations for the production of long rhizomes[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].
Mature plants have well-developed, deep root systems and are therefore resilient to low intensity fire[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Edible Uses

We have no specific information for this species, but the young shoots and tender leaf bases of almost all species in this genus have a sweet flavour[
212
Title
A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers
Publication
 
Author
Craighead. J., Craighead. F. and Davis. R.
Publisher
The Riverside Press
Year
1963
ISBN
63-7093
Description
Excellent little pocket guide to the area, covering 590 species and often giving details of their uses.
]. They furnish a tasty nibble and make an excellent emergency food in the wild since they are widely available[
212
Title
A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Wildflowers
Publication
 
Author
Craighead. J., Craighead. F. and Davis. R.
Publisher
The Riverside Press
Year
1963
ISBN
63-7093
Description
Excellent little pocket guide to the area, covering 590 species and often giving details of their uses.
].

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

With its wide ranging roots and ability to spread and cover the soil, the plant is increasingly being recommended for use in riparian restoration, streambank stabilization, and erosion control. Plants establish readily in a wide variety of environmental conditions. Adult plants produce many rhizomes each year and each rhizome can be used for revegetation. Subdivision of adult plants also results in very high plant survival and rapid colonization[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Other Uses

Roots are used in basketry[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
]. The long white rhizomes provide the sewing strand in coiled baskets. Traditionally tended plants can develop rhizomes around 120 - 180cm long, whilst untended plants have short, twisted rhizomes[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

The leaves have been as a strewing material to provide a soft surface on the floor for sitting on[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Propagation

Seed - sow in situ in the spring in a moist soil in light shade. If seed is in short supply it can be sown in a cold frame and be planted out in the summer. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 6 weeks at 15°c[
138
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Bird. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1989
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation.
]. Plants started from seed tend to stay diminutive for over a year, with plant leaves remaining stunted and fragile for a considerable period of time[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].
Division in spring[
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.
]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2024-05-29. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Carex+barbarae>

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