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Useful Tropical Plants

Calandrinia ciliata

(Ruiz & Pav.) DC.

Portulacaceae

+ Synonyms

Calandrinia arizonica Rydb.

Calandrinia axilliflora Barnéoud

Calandrinia bonariensis Hauman

Calandrinia caulescens Kunth

Calandrinia caulescens Phil.

Calandrinia elegans Spach

Calandrinia feltonii Skottsb.

Calandrinia menziesii (Hook.) Torr. & A.Gray

Calandrinia micrantha Schltdl.

Calandrinia muricata Rydb.

Calandrinia phacosperma DC.

Calandrinia pulchella Lilja

Calandrinia speciosa Lindl.

Calandrinia stenophylla Rydb.

Calyptridium depressum A.Nelson

Claytonia alba caulescens (Kunth) Kuntze

Claytonia axilliflora (Barnéoud) Kuntze

Claytonia caulescens (Kunth) Kuntze

Claytonia ciliata (DC.) Kuntze

Claytonia menziesii (Torr. & A.Gray) Kuntze

Claytonia peruviana Kuntze

Claytonia speciosa (Lilja) Kuntze

Cosmia caulescens Dombey ex Spreng.

Cosmia montana Dombey ex DC.

Phacosperma peruviana Haw.

Rhodopsis speciosa Lilja

Talinum caulescens (Kunth) Spreng.

Talinum ciliatum Ruiz & Pav.

Talinum menziesii Hook.

Tegneria speciosa Lilja

Tetragonia peruviana Haw.

Common Name: Redmaids

No Image.

General Information

Calandrinia ciliata is a prostrate to spreading, succulent annual plant, much-branched from the base; it can grow 3 - 40cm tall[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].
The seeds and leaves were an important food source for many native peoples in California and were harvested from the wild in quantity. They are still harvested from the wild for local use.
This plant may become weedy or invasive in some regions or habitats and may displace desirable vegetation if not properly managed[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Known Hazards

The plant contains oxalic acid, so it should only be used in moderation[
144
Title
Wild Food in Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. A. B. and J. W.
Publisher
Fontana
Year
1976
ISBN
0-00-634436-4
Description
A very good pocket guide.
]. Oxalic acid can lock up certain of the nutrients in food and, if eaten in excess, can lead to nutritional deficiencies. It is, however, perfectly safe in small amounts and its acid taste adds a nice flavour to salads. Cooking the plant will reduce the quantity of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].

Botanical References

71
Title
A California Flora.
Publication
 
Author
Munz.
Publisher
University of California Press
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent flora but no pictures. Not for the casual reader.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/

Range

Western N. America - British Colombia to California, through Mexico to El Salvador; S. America - Venzuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile

Habitat

Open grassy places, disturbed areas and cultivated fields, mainly in grassland, at elevations below 1,800 metres[
71
Title
A California Flora.
Publication
 
Author
Munz.
Publisher
University of California Press
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent flora but no pictures. Not for the casual reader.
,
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
]. Open banks or fields, often on limestone or in sand, sometimes in Alnus forest, often abundant in cultivated fields[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *  *
HabitAnnual
Height0.25 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Calandrinia ciliata has a very wide native range from the cool temperate regions of western N. America into the tropical regions of Central and S. America.
Prefers a hot sunny situation on a poor dry sandy soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Plants grow best in sandy to loamy soils with low to moderate nutrient availability[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
]. Established plants are moderately drought tolerant[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].
Plants are intolerant of root disturbance, they are best treated as half-hardy annuals and sown in situ in late spring[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. In frosty climates this species can become a self-sowing annual, the seed germinating in spring[
157
Title
Australian Native Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Wrigley. J. W. and Fagg. M.
Publisher
Collins. (Australia)
Year
1988
ISBN
0-7322-0021-0
Description
A lovely book, written in order to encourage Australian gardeners to grow their native plants. A little bit of information for the plant project.
].
Calandrina ciliata is highly variable vegetatively, especially in size, but is uniform in flower, fruit, and seed[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].

Edible Uses

Leaves and young shoots - raw, cooked or used as a garnish[
161
Title
Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237.
Publication
 
Author
Yanovsky. E.
Publisher
U.S. Depf of Agriculture.
Year
 
ISBN
-
Description
A comprehensive but very terse guide. Not for the casual reader.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. A tasty salad[
207
Title
The History and Folklore of North American Wild Flowers.
Publication
 
Author
Coffey. T.
Publisher
Facts on File.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-8160-2624-6
Description
A nice read, lots of information on plant uses.
]. The whole plant is cooked and eaten like spinach, and is said to be one of the best of the wild pot herbs[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].
The leaves contain oxalic acid and so some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Seed - raw or ground into a meal[
161
Title
Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237.
Publication
 
Author
Yanovsky. E.
Publisher
U.S. Depf of Agriculture.
Year
 
ISBN
-
Description
A comprehensive but very terse guide. Not for the casual reader.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. The seed can also be cooked as a piñole[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
]. The seed is very small and fiddly to harvest, especially since it ripens intermittently over a period of several weeks[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. However, it is rich in oil and was often collected in large quantities by native North American Indian tribes[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].
One method of harvesting was to pull the plants up and spread them out on a clean area to dry. The seeds were
separated by shaking or hitting the plants over the cleaned area or into a basket. Then they were placed into a tightly woven winnowing basket where they were tossed, allowing the moving air to remove any chaff. The seeds were then dried for storage or parched in a cooking basket along with hot coals. The parched seeds were pulverized in bedrock mortars into an oily meal, which was then prepared into balls and cakes[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

Calandrinia ciliata is an early colonizer of disturbed areas. It increases in abundance following a fire because of the increase in nutrients and the decrease in competing grasses. The native Californians burned grasslands periodically to increase harvests of the plant as well as other fire-following species[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
]..

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - best sown in situ in spring since it strongly resents root disturbance. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 3 weeks at 20°c[
138
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 3.
Publication
 
Author
Bird. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1989
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation.
].

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