Herbs & Plants

Descurainia pinnata

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Botanical Name : Descurainia pinnata
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Descurainia
Species: D. pinnata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonyms:  Sisymbrium canescens. Walt. Sophia halictorum. S. pinnata.

Common Name:Tansy Mustard  or western tansymustard

Habitat :Descurainia pinnata is native to Western N. America.It is widespread and found in varied habitats and grows on most areas and situations, usually in dry soils. It is especially successful in deserts.

Descurainia pinnata is a annual plant  growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Self.The plant is self-fertile
It is a hardy plant which easily becomes weedy, and can spring up in disturbed, barren sites with bad soil. This is a hairy, heavily branched, mustardlike annual which is quite variable in appearance. There are several subspecies which vary from each other and individuals within a subspecies may look different depending on the climate they endure. This may be a clumping thicket or a tall, erect mustard. It generally does not exceed 70 centimeters in height. It has highly lobed or divided leaves with pointed, toothed lobes or leaflets. At the tips of the stem branches are tiny yellow flowers. The fruit is a silique one half to two centimeters long upon a threadlike pedicel. This plant reproduces only from seed. This tansymustard is toxic to grazing animals in large quantities due to nitrates and thiocyanates; however, it is a nutritious in smaller amounts. The flowers are attractive to butterflies. The seeds are said to taste somewhat like black mustard and were utilized as food by Native American peoples such as the Navajo.

We have almost no information on this species but judging by its native range it should succeed in most parts of Britain and is probably not too fussy about soil or situation. We suggest growing it in a dry to moist soil in a sunny position.

Propagation  :   
Seed – sow spring in situ.

Edible Uses:    
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed;  Seedpod.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Young leaves – cooked. A bitter flavour. Eaten as greens in the spring, they are said to have a salty flavour. The seedpods make an interesting mustard-flavoured nibble. Seed – raw or cooked. Used as a piñole. The seed has a mustard flavour and can be used to flavour soups or as a condiment with corn. The seed can also ground into a powder, mixed with cornmeal and used to make bread, or as a thickening for soups etc. In Mexico the seeds are made into a refreshing drink with lime juice, claret and syrup.

Medicinal Uses:
Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Odontalgic;  PoulticeStomachic.

Diuretic, expectorant, poultice. The ground up seeds have been used in the treatment of stomach complaints. A poultice of the plant has been used to ease the pain of toothache. An infusion of the leaves has been used as a wash on sores.

The Navajo and Cahuilla Indians used this plant for medicinal purposes. The ground up seeds was used in the treatment of stomach complaints. A poultice of the plant has been used to ease the pain of toothache. An infusion of the leaves has been used as a wash on sores.

Known Hazards : The plant is said t be toxic to livestock, causing symptoms similar to selenium poisoning. Known as blind staggers or paralyzed tongue, the animals can become blind, wander aimlessly and lose the ability to swallow

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider


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