We are following the treatment in Grimes, J. W. 1990. A revision of the New World species of the Psoraleeae (Leguminosae: Papilionoideae) Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 61:29. Some other treatments retain this species in Psoralea as Psoralea macrostachya DC.
Hoita longiloba Rydb.
Hoita rhombifolia (Torr.) Rydb.
Hoita villosa Greene
Psoralea douglasii Greene
Psoralea hallii media Jeps.
Psoralea macrostachya DC.
Common Name: Large Leather Root
Hoita macrostachya is a herbaceous perennial plant with stems that become somewhat woody; it can grow 50 - 200cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Although no specific mention of toxicity for this species has been found, at least some members of this genus are known to contain furanocoumarins, particularly psoralen and angelicin. These compounds can be found in low concentrations in many common foods including citrus fruirs, celery, parsley and parsnips. Ingestion or skin application of these compounds in larger quantities can cause skin photosensitization followed by hyperpigmentation[
South-western N. America - California, Baja Norte
], especially along the borders of streams[
] and salt marshes[
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Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil[
]. Plants are often found in saline soils in the wild[
Intolerant of root disturbance[
]. This is not the case, we have successfully transplanted plants that were three years old[
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[
Root - raw, cooked or dried for winter use. Starchy[
The plant has been used in the treatment of ulcers and sores[
A fibre is obtained from the inner bark of the stem[
]. Very fine and strong, it can be used as a thread and for sewing.[
A strong white-coloured fibre is obtained from the root[
]. Very tough[
], it is used as thread and to make ropes and bags[
]. Aromatic, the pleasant perfume persisting for several months[
]. The large roots have to be pounded most vigorously before the fibres separate and become flexible[
A yellow dye is obtained from the roots[
Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in early to mid spring in a greenhouse. Either sow the seed in individual pots or pot up the young seedlings as soon as possible in order to avoid root disturbance. Grow them on in the pots until planting out in their final positions. It is usually impossible to transplant this species without fatal damage to the root[
Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. It is virtually impossible to divide this species successfully[