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Common Name: Bigseed Biscuitroot
Lomatium macrocarpum is a Perennial
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Western N. America - British Columbia to California.
Open rocky hills and plains, not extending much into the mountains[
We have almost no information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in much of the country.
It can be assumed that plants will require a dry to moist but well-drained soil in a sunny position.
This is a taxonomically very difficult genus, many of the species now included in it have at times been included in other genera[
Root - raw or cooked[
]. A staple food for a number of native North American Indian tribes[
]. The root is usually peeled before being cooked or eaten[
]. It can be dried and ground into a powder and then used to make cakes etc[
Seed - raw or cooked. Very nutritious, they can also be ground into a powder[
] and then used with cereal flours when making bread, cakes etc, or be used as a flavouring in soups etc[
]. The seed is very small, but quite easy to harvest[
A tea can be made from the leaves, stems and flowers[
An infusion of the roots has been used as a general strengthener for a weakened patient[
]. The infusion is also used as a treatment for colds, influenza and bronchitis[
]. The root has been chewed and the juice swallowed as a treatment for sore throats[
The root has been eaten by childless couples, especially older people, in order to help them conceive[
A poultice made from the boiled root has been used to treat swellings[
The leaves have been used as a padding in a child's cradle to encourage it to sleep more[
The root has been dried then burnt as a ceremonial incense[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed can be rather slow to germinate, when sown in the spring it usually takes at least 12 months to germinate. Giving it a period of cold stratification might reduce this time. The seedlings need to be pricked out into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle, and should be planted out into their permanent positions in the summer.
Fresh seed can be sown immediately in situ.
Division may be possible in spring or autumn.