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Virtual Exhibit - Heritage Project

Object ID:            2013.090.003

Title:                     Soap Root Amole

Habitat:                North America

Description:         Soap Root Amole, or Chlorogalum parviflorum, is from the family Asparagaceae. It is native to California and is still blooming. It is brown and tan in color. It is used to make brushes and shampoo and to cure sores and poison oak rashes. The bulb of the plant is used to make food. The roots of the bulb look like a brush and it has the look and feel of horse hair; roots were also used as a glue that would help mend arrows together and backs of bows. Many of the Native Americans used the plant as fish poison. They would pulverize the root, mix it in water to create foam, and then put suds in the stream (the foam gets into the fish gills so they are not able to breathe). Eating the bulb of this plant cooked is good for you, but if you eat it raw it can be dangerous. It contains the chemicals to make a good soap or fish poison. You would need to boil it for it to be safe for consuming. No notes were found on the original card from Elizabeth Windsong.

Dimensions:        H—12.7 W—20.32 cm

Kingdom:             Plantae (Plants)

Phylum:                Anthophyta (Flowering Plants)

Family:                  Asparagaceae

Genus:                   Chlorogalum

Species:                 parviflorum

Collector:              Windsong, Elizabeth

Identified by:        Windsong, Elizabeth

Preparator:           Jenkins, Macie