Herb: Crazy Weed


Latin name: Oxytropis lambertii


Family: Leguminosae



Edible parts of Crazy Weed:

Root. The whole plant, including the roots, is eaten by horses. No further details are given, but caution is advised, see notes at top of page. Used to make a mush, or parched and used for food. This report is probably referring to the seeds.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)

Flovering:
July to
August


Scent:
Scented
Perennial

Habitat of the herb:

Dry prairies, calcareous gravels and bluffs. Limestone outcrops in Texas.

Propagation of Crazy Weed:

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in a greenhouse in early spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as the cotyledons emerge in order to avoid damage to the root. Grow them on in the greenhouse and plant them out the following spring. Division in spring. Since the plant resents root disturbance this might not be a good idea.

Cultivation of the herb:

Dry prairies, calcareous gravels and bluffs. Limestone outcrops in Texas.

Medicinal use of Crazy Weed:

None known

Known hazards of Oxytropis lambertii:

The plant is toxic to cattle, does it concentrate selenium from the soil? Horses that eat this plant become very difficult to handle and can imagine that a pebble is a large rock or that a wide stream is only narrow. The plant contains toxins, possibly indolizidine alkaloids. The toxin can accumulate in the body and causes trembling, high excitability, paralysis and death.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.