Herb: Roundleaf Leather Root

Latin name: Psoralea orbicularis

Synonyms: Hoita orbicularis

Family: Leguminosae

Medicinal use of Roundleaf Leather Root:

A decoction of the root used as a blood purifier and in the treatment of fevers.

Description of the plant:


10 cm
(4 inches)

Habitat of the herb:

Moist places below 1500 metres in California.

Edible parts of Roundleaf Leather Root:

Leaves - cooked.

Other uses of the herb:

The plant is a good soil stabilizer in its natural environment.

Propagation of Roundleaf Leather Root:

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in early to mid spring in a greenhouse. Either sow the seed in individual pots or pot up the young seedlings as soon as possible in order to avoid root disturbance. Grow them on in the pots until planting out in their final positions. It is usually impossible to transplant this species without fatal damage to the root. Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. It is virtually impossible to divide this species successfully.

Cultivation of the herb:

Moist places below 1500 metres in California.

Known hazards of Psoralea orbicularis:

Although no specific mention of toxicity for this species has been found, at least some members of this genus contain furanocoumarins, these substances can cause photosensitivity in some people.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.