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Common Name: Indian Potato
Orogenia linearifolia is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.15 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Western N. America - Montana to W. Colorado and west to Utah and Washington.
Open mountain sides and ridges, often in sandy or gravelly soils[
], and often near vernal snow banks where it blooms as soon as the snow melts[
We have very little 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 most parts of the country. From its native habitat it can be assumed that the plant requires a sunny position in a moist but well drained light to medium soil[
Root - raw or cooked[
]. The raw root tastes like potatoes[
]. A pleasant crisp taste, though the outer skin has a slightly bitter taste[
]. The root is available at almost any time of the year, its only drawback is that it is a bit small and fiddly to harvest in quantity[
]. It may respond to cultivation.
Seed - no information has been found. It is probably best to sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in late spring or early summer. Sow in pots in a cold frame and when they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division should be possible at any time the plant is dormant, probably from mid summer to late winter.