Herb: Lenga


Latin name: Nothofagus pumilio


Synonyms: Fagus pumilio


Family: Fagaceae (Beech Family)



Edible parts of Lenga:

The sap and scrapings are eaten in spring. The term scrapings probably refers to the inner bark. Inner bark is often dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereals when making bread.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Tree

Height:
40 m
(131 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Dominant or co-dominant in deciduous forest on better drained sites and well developed soils from sea level to 1800 metres.

Other uses of Lenga:

Used for making torches. This is probably a reference to the bark, since this is the part used in N. betuloides. Wood - useful. No further details are given.

Propagation of the herb:

The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cool greenhouse or cold frame. Spring-sown seed requires 2 - 3 months stratification at 1 - 5C. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in the cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seed must not be allowed to dry out according to one report whilst another says that the seed can be stored dry at 2C for long periods. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 6 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Layering.

Cultivation of Lenga:

Dominant or co-dominant in deciduous forest on better drained sites and well developed soils from sea level to 1800 metres.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Nothofagus pumilio:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.