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Bassia scoparia - (L.)A.J.Scott.
                 
Common Name Summer Cypress, Burningbush
Family Chenopodiaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards Plants contain some saponins and should not be eaten in large quantities. Saponins are a toxin found in many of our daily foods such as many beans. They are usually present in quantities too small to be concerned about and are also very poorly absorbed by the body, tending to pass straight through without causing any problems. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].
Habitats Roadsides, ditches and wasteland in western N. America[60].
Range Europe to Western N. America.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

Summary

Bassia scoparia Summer Cypress, Burningbush


(c) Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, United State
Bassia scoparia Summer Cypress, Burningbush
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Bassia scoparia is a ANNUAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in September, and the seeds ripen in October. and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Synonyms
Chenopodium scoparia. Kochia scoparia. (L.)Schrad. K. trichophila.

Habitats
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Young leaves - cooked[105, 177]. A delicious taste, they are used as a vegetable[179]. A nutritional analysis is available[218]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Seed - dried and ground into a powder then mixed with cereals when making bread, biscuits etc[61, 105, 177]. Very small and fiddly to use, it is also not a very reliable crop in Britain due to its late season of flowering[K]. On a zero moisture basis, the seed contains 20.4 - 27.5% protein, 8.8 - 16% fat and 3.4 - 9.4% ash[218]. In Japan the seeds are used a food garnish called tonburi.
Composition
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)
  • 0 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 21.5g; Fat: 2.4g; Carbohydrate: 56.8g; Fibre: 19.7g; Ash: 19.2g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;
  • Reference: [ 218]
  • Notes:
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antibacterial;  Antifungal;  Antiphlogistic;  Astringent;  Cardiotonic;  Diuretic;  Skin.

Antibacterial, antifungal[178]. The leaves and fruits are cardiotonic and diuretic[218, 240]. The stems are used in the treatment of dysentery, diarrhoea and dyspepsia[218]. The seed is antiphlogistic, astringent and diuretic[176, 218]. It is used to treat skin infections such as eczema ad scabies, and diseases of the urinary tract[176, 218, 279]. The seed contains harmine, which can have adverse effects upon the gastro-intestinal tract and the central nervous system[279].
Other Uses
Broom.

The whole plant is used as a broom[61, 151]. The green form is used[1]. An ornamental for its red fall foliage. It has also been useful in erosion control on denuded soils. It has been suggested as an agent of phytoremediation, because it is a hyperaccumulator of chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, silver, zinc, and uranium. Bassia scoparia contains higher levels of protein and oxalate than most grasses and fodder plants, thus it also serves as a good forage crop for livestock. When grown as ornamental plant, it is a good choice as evergreen foliage plant for landscapes.
Cultivation details
An easily grown plant[200], it succeeds in ordinary garden soil[1]. Succeeds in any reasonably fertile light well-drained but moisture retentive soil in a sunny position[200]. A frost tender plant, it is grown as a spring-sown annual in Britain[1]. This species is cultivated in Korea for its use as a broom[151]. The subspecies B. scoparia trichophylla. (Schmeiss.)Schinz.&Thell. is the form most often found in cultivation in Britain[200].
Propagation
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and plant out in May. The seed can also be sown in situ in late April or early May.

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Other Names
Burningbush, ragweed, summer cypress, mock-cypress, kochia, belvedere, Mexican firebrush, and Mexican fireweed. Because its texture is similar to caviar, it has been called "land caviar", "field caviar", and "mountain caviar" in Japan.
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state as a noxious weed. Connecticut (Kochia scoparia, common kochia): Potentially invasive, banned. Oregon (kochia): "B" designated weed. Quarantine. Washington (kochia, kochia, summer-cyprus, burning-bush, fireball, Mexican fireweed): Class B noxious weed Noxious weed seed and plant quarantine
Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.
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Expert comment
 
Author
(L.)A.J.Scott.
Botanical References
60200274
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Majid Jami Al-Ahmadi Sat Jan 18 07:33:38 2003
I am a Ph-D student of crop physiology. i want to work about domestication of kochia scoparia as a foliage crop for saline soils of iran. I`m searching information about this plant from an agronomical prospective, but the little information is available in this field. I would appreciated anyone who can help me and send me some information about this crop. we can establish a mutual relation.
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Subject : Bassia scoparia  

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