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Common Name: Humboldt Mulesears
Wyethia longicaulis is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
South-western N. America - northern California.
Open woods and exposed ridges, 800 - 1500 metres[
]. Grassy slopes, openings in forests at elevations of 700 - 1500 metres[
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 at least in the milder parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Requires a free-draining, gritty but moisture-retentive soil in a sunny position[
]. Plants are intolerant of drought[
Seed - cooked. It can be used as a piñole or can be ground into a powder and used with cereals in making bread etc[
Young leaves and stems - raw or cooked[
Root - cooked[
]. The N. American Indians dug pits in the ground which they lined with large stones. They then burnt a fire on top of the stones until the stones were hot. The roots were placed on these hot stones, sealed in with fern leaves and earth and then fermented for one or two days before being eaten[
A decoction of the roots has been used in the treatment of stomach aches[
]. Externally, it can be used as a wash in the treatment of headaches and as a wash for inflamed and sore eyes[
]. A poultice of the baked roots has been applied to rheumatic joints[
]. A poultice of the dried powdered roots has been applied to burns and running sores[
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[