Botanical Name: Pseudostellaria jamesiana
Common Name : Tuber starwort
Habitat: Pseudostellaria jamesiana is native to much of the western United States, where it can be found in sagebrush, coniferous forests, and many other types of habitat. It is a perennial herb growing from a rhizome network with tuberlike swellings. It grows on moist woodland amongst shrubs, westwards from Wyoming and Texas.
Pseudostellaria jamesiana is a perennial plant growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.The stem grows up to 45 to 60 centimeters in maximum height. It is four-angled and usually at least partially coated in glandular hairs. The thick lance-shaped leaves are up to 15 centimeters long, oppositely arranged, and sometimes rough and hairy. The inflorescence is a cluster of flowers at the tip of the stem or in the leaf axils. Flowers occurring in leaf axils are sometimes cleistogamous, never opening. Open flowers have five white petals with two lobes at the tips and usually ten long stamens.
Edible Uses: Young leaves are eaten raw or cooked. Root – raw or cooked. Sweet and pleasant.
Medicinal Uses: Not known to us.
Known Hazards: Although no mention has been seen for this species, the leaves of some members of this genus contain saponins. Although toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm. They are also broken down by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish. Stellaria jamesiana Torr. is a synonym of Pseudostellaria jamesiana (Torr.) W.A. Weber & R.L. Hartm.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only.