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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - November 10, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Edible Plants, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Information on edible tubers of hog potato from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I inquired a while back about hog potato or Hoffmannseggia glauca. You gave me some information on the plant but no information on when the plant produces the edible tubers. Also how long does it take to produce the tubers after the seed germinates? Thank you,

ANSWER:

We found the previous answer  on Hoffmannseggia glauca (Indian rushpea) to which you are apparently referring. We suspect the the reason we didn't give you this information the first time around is that it was not available in our research resources. We did find a couple more websites that talk about the edibility of the tuber (mostly, as indicated by the common name, by rooting pigs).

Here are two references that did not appear in the original answer that might give you some more information:

Southwestern Arizona Wildflowers

Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses - this may give us a clue as to why no one is much interested in studying this plant, as it is referred to as "an aggressive noxious weed." Since it is a member of the Fabaceae or pea family, it does propagate by seeds and is a perennial. The swollen tubers are part of the system that permits this plant to spread, so we are assuming if the plant in question has been germinated from seed, and not tubers, it would probably be a year or more before that plant was mature enough to begin manufacturing the tubers and expanding the area of the plant.

 

 

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Indian rushpea
Hoffmannseggia glauca

Indian rushpea
Hoffmannseggia glauca

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