Bear Grass, Squaw Grass, Soap Grass, quip-quip, Indian Basket Grass, Bear Lily, Western Turkeybeard, Elk Grass Xerophyllum tenax - Melanthium spicatum, Xerophyllum douglasii

Detailed Listing For
Botanical Name:

Xerophyllum tenax







Common Name:

Bear Grass, Squaw Grass, Soap Grass, quip-quip, Indian Basket Grass, Bear Lily, Western Turkeybeard, Elk Grass

Seeds Per Pound:
2.57 lb
Average Viable Seeds/Packet:
Germination Test Type:
1-3 feet
Collection Locale:
Lincoln, MT
Crop Year:
Minimum Hardiness Zone:
In Stock: 2.57 lb
Items are priced on a curve, you can buy any 'bulk quantity' up to what we have in stock, some examples are:
1 packet
10 gram
1 oz
1 lb
Growing Info, follow in order:
Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours.
Stratification: cold stratify for 120 days.
Germination: surface sow and keep moist, tamp the soil. Cover to keep light out. Remove cover after germination.
In a Nutshell:
* Xerophyllum tenax is a North American species of plants in the corn lily family. It is known by several common names, including bear grass, squaw grass, soap grass, quip-quip, and Indian basket grass.
* Xerophyllum tenax has flowers with six tepals and six stamens borne in a terminal raceme. The plant can grow to 15–150 cm in height. It grows in bunches with the leaves wrapped around and extending from a small stem at ground level. The leaves are 30–100 cm long and 2–6 mm wide, dull olive green with toothed edges.
* The slightly fragrant white flowers emerge from a tall stalk that bolts from the base. When the flowers are in bloom they are tightly packed at the tip of the stalk like an upright club.
* The plant is found mostly in western North America from British Columbia south to California and east to Wyoming, in subalpine meadows and coastal mountains, and also on low ground in the California coastal fog belt as far south as Monterey County. It is common on the Olympic Peninsula and in the Cascades, northern Sierra Nevada and Rockies.
* Xerophyllum tenax is an important part of the fire ecology of regions where it is native. It has rhizomes which survive fire that clears dead and dying plant matter from the surface of the ground. The plant thrives with periodic burns and is often the first plant to sprout in a scorched area. more...
* Native Americans used the leaves to weave garments and baskets and ate the roasted rootstock. more...
* The roots are styptic. A poultice of the chewed root has been applied to wounds. A decoction of the grated root has been used as a wash on bleeding wounds, sprains and broken limbs. The washed roots have been rubbed to make a lather and then used to wash sore eyes.

A watertight basket can be made from the leaves This basket has been used for cooking food in. The fibres are split from the leaves and then used. The plant is also used to decorate baskets. The small leaves have been used to make dresses. The plants were burnt every year. The leaves were harvested in the spring when they first started to grow out of the charred rhizome. Prior to using, the leaves were soaked in water to make them pliable, but if left too long they turned green. The dried and bleached leaves are used for weaving into hats and capes . more...
* This valuable plant provides is important for wildlife species—from bees and flies, to rodents, bears, deer, and elk. more...
Usda description:
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