|Common name:||Indian Basket Grass||Family:||Melanthiaceae|
|Author:||(Purs.)Nutt.||Botanical references:||60, 200|
|Synonyms:||Xerophyllum douglasii, Helonias tenax (Pursh.)|
|Known Hazards:||None known|
|Range:||Western N. America – British Columbia to California.|
|Habitat:||Dry sunny hills and open woods
|Edibility Rating (1-5):||2||Medicinal Rating (1-5):||1|
|Other Common Names:||From various places around the Web, may not be correct. See below.|
|Epithets:||From a Dictionary of Botanical Epithets|
|tenax = tenacious;|
|Other Range Info:||From the Ethnobotany Database|
An evergreen perennial growing to 1.2m by 2m at a slow rate. It is hardy to zone 5. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. We rate it 2/5 for edibility and 1/5 for medicinal use.
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.
Habitats and Possible Locations
Woodland, Sunny Edge, Dappled Shade.
Root – baked
The roots are styptic
Basketry; Fibre; Weaving.
A watertight basket can be made from the leaves
Requires a well-drained soil in full sun
Seed – we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe if possible, otherwise in early spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division as the plant comes into growth in the spring.