Herb: Redmaids

Latin name: Calandrinia ciliata menziesii

Synonyms: Calandrinia menziesii

Family: Portulacaceae (Purslane Family)

Edible parts of Redmaids:

Leaves and young shoots - raw, cooked or used as a garnish. The leaves contain oxalic acid and so some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Seed - raw or ground into a meal. The seed can also be cooked as a piäole. The seed is very small and fiddly to harvest, especially since it ripens intermittently over a period of several weeks. However, it is rich in oil and was often collected in large quantities by native North American Indian tribes.

Description of the plant:


10 cm
(4 inches)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Open grassy places and cultivated fields.

Propagation of Redmaids:

Seed - best sown in situ in spring since it strongly resents root disturbance. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 3 weeks at 20°C.

Cultivation of the herb:

Open grassy places and cultivated fields.

Medicinal use of Redmaids:

None known

Known hazards of Calandrinia ciliata menziesii:

The plant contains oxalic acid, so it should only be used in moderation. 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.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.