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Botanical Name : Balsamorhiza deltoidea
Family : Compositae / Asteraceae
Genus : Balsamorhiza
Common Name : deltoid balsamroot.
Species: B. deltoidea
Habitat : Western N. America – British Columbia to California.Open places but not on thin soils.
This is a taprooted perennial herb growing erect to a maximum height near 90 centimeters. The stems are hairy and glandular. The large leaves are up to 25 centimeters long and 20 wide, and are roughly triangular in shape, hairy and glandular, and often toothed along the edges. The inflorescence bears usually one or sometimes a few large flower heads, each lined with hairy, pointed phyllaries up to 4 centimeters long. The head has a center of yellowish disc florets and a fringe of pointed yellow ray florets each up to 4 or 5 centimeters long. The fruit is an achene 7 to 8 millimeters in length.
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It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.
Requires a deep fertile well-drained loam in full sun. Plants strongly resent winter wet. Hardy to at least -25°c. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance and should be planted into their permanent positions whilst still small.
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 2 – 6 days at 18°c. Either sow the seed in individual pots or pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in spring. Very difficult since the plant strongly resents root disturbance. It is probably best to take quite small divisions, or basal cuttings, without disturbing the main clump. Pot these up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer if they have grown sufficiently, otherwise over-winter them in the greenhouse and plant out in late spring.
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root; Seed.
Edible Uses: Coffee.
Root – raw or cooked. A sweet taste when cooked. Young shoots – raw. Seed – raw or cooked. It can be ground into a powder and made into a bread. The ground seeds can be formed into cakes and eaten raw. The roasted root is a coffee substitute.
A decoction of the split roots has been used in the treatment of coughs and colds.
Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.