• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

how invasive is chufa?  RSS feed

 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
15
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I recently planted some chufa bulbs or I am not sure what they are technically. I planted them in planters because I have read they can be very invasive but I have also read over and over that wild turkeys love it and so do a lot of other wild animals. So I am wondering how invasive it is if I live someplace with lots of wild turkeys (and also wild california quail and all sorts of other animals that might like to eat it as well. My husband and I just adore the tiny chufa nut things and it would be nice to grow a lot of it but I also care very much about the beautiful wild native forest where we live and don't really want to introduce something that will take over and displace the native wild plants outside my garden.
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3667
Location: Anjou ,France
176
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love them , they are also known as tiger nuts in the UK.
Eaten raw or made into a "milk" they taste great . I have read they make a great oil to cook with . I am told that the leaves are poisionous but I think if you eat enough you should be able to keep it under control . I wonder if you could feed it to chickens ?

David
 
jack spirko
Posts: 138
40
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have them right in the polycultures of some of my huguls where I am growing mostly a zone two style "orchard", I harvested a bunch last year. To me they are to damn much trouble to work with for human use. The birds though, TEAR THEM UP.

So I have this grass that grows in clumps and doesn't run like the dang brumada, it shades out and out competes the brumuda too. If early fall I pull it up and though it to the birds they eat the hell out of it and enough remains to come back the next year. I don't call that invasive personally, I call it convenient.

Of course I also grow Autumn Olive on purpose, Sunchokes on purpose and many other "invasive" things on purpose. So that is just me I guess.

Seriously though it is a clumper if pulled it is going to mostly just come back in the area it was before where you will leave a few tubers per clump when you pull it. If you leave it, well yes in time I can see it being quite rampant. If though it is a place where you want to finish turkeys though, problem equals solution. Turkeys are dumb, even for a bird but they are still not that stupid. Take your turkeys to where your chufa is, pull up one or two clumps and let them see what is there, they will do the rest! Hogs will tear it up too, big time.
 
Tami Clark
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If I am not mistaken, these are also called Nutgrass in California and are incredibly hard to get rid of! I would avoid these at all costs! In California it is incredibly invasive and very had to get rid of. If you are going to plant it, plant it in a pot and never let it go to seed. It likes a lot of water spreads by seed and also the "nut" which is difficult to pull up and get rid of.
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
we have it in planters and plan to cut off all flowers it makes. they do sell it in California. it is yellow nut sedge the purple one is more of a problem here form what I have read.
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
the thing about it being invasive that I am wondering though is that wild turkeys love it and I have read that deer and other animals love it. if that is the case if it was in the ground wouldn't they come and eat it all since we have so many wild turkeys all over the place and deer and other animals that eat it? I am really hoping to find someone with personal experience with that. I have read plenty about it online
 
Audrey Barton
Posts: 22
Location: Mid-Michigan
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Chufa, or "Nutsedge," took over our lawn when we were renting in the city.
We didn't mind, as the rest of the lawn was full of dandelions and grubs.

Mother Earth News did a special story on it sometime in the 70s.
Next time I come across that issue, I'll share it here!

It's quite tenacious, and does spread easily.
Adding it to polyculture or hugulkultur is an interesting idea, but I'll avoid it for now.
There are strong turkey and deer populations where we live now, and I'd rather keep them out of my production garden!
 
jack spirko
Posts: 138
40
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well a lot of people call our native nut sedge cuffa, it isn't. So what you had may have been chuffa or perhaps more likely a true "weed". True chuffa has a lot of "nuts" per plant about the size of a small marble.
 
Tami Clark
Posts: 8
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have raised a turkey before, and don't think they would be able to get below the ground to the "nut" to eridicate it. I bought some "chuffa" seeds in Petaluma (Rare Seed) and when I realized what they were, I didn't plant them. I have plenty growing already where I don't want them lol! However, if you are interested, I would be happy to send the whole packet to you!
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tami Clark wrote:I have raised a turkey before, and don't think they would be able to get below the ground to the "nut" to eridicate it. I bought some "chuffa" seeds in Petaluma (Rare Seed) and when I realized what they were, I didn't plant them. I have plenty growing already where I don't want them lol! However, if you are interested, I would be happy to send the whole packet to you!


I would love them! also I am glad I am growing them in planters to help them stay contained. thank you for explaining about the turkeys. I have never raised them or anything so would not have known that they wouldn't scratch them all out. I guess that makes perfect sense because they can put the little 'nuts' down a foot deep.
 
jack spirko
Posts: 138
40
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tami Clark wrote:I have raised a turkey before, and don't think they would be able to get below the ground to the "nut" to eridicate it. I bought some "chuffa" seeds in Petaluma (Rare Seed) and when I realized what they were, I didn't plant them. I have plenty growing already where I don't want them lol! However, if you are interested, I would be happy to send the whole packet to you!


We put chuffa on many of our wildlife plots for deer and turkey etc. You pull up about a dozen plants and when the birds come through they destroy it! I don't have a ton of experience with domestic turkeys but if the wild birds can get it up I can't see for a second why the domestics can't. I mean we have to reseed it annually or there is NOTHING left, of course the feral hogs come in behind the turks but I have spent enough time in blinds to tell you that turkeys eat the ever loving F out of chuffa, whether you can see it in your head doesn't matter, I have watched it with my eyes.

Let me put it this way, how hard would you work for a piece of really good cake if you had never tasted cake in your life, found a few pieces and smelled more just a little bit covered by dirt? Add to this you don't mind eating dirt and this is the best cake plus it is infused with a drug you are now addicted to. To a turkey this is chuffa!
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
Posts: 1014
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think nut sedge and chufa is realated but not the same thing. In doubt always look for the latin name.
 
jack spirko
Posts: 138
40
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Angelika Maier wrote:I think nut sedge and chufa is realated but not the same thing. In doubt always look for the latin name.


You are correct, nut sedge is to chuffa what say a native tiny pithy crab apple is to a good cider apple.
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
my understanding in looking into it is that there is more than one plant called nut sedge and that chufa is called yellow nut sedge and in california there is a purple nut sedge which technically has edible tubers like yellow nut sedge but they do not taste good. more like something to eat during times of famine. I will check the scientific names though to be sure.
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
jack spirko thank you for your answer!
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
289
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
JL Hudson sells a sterile cultivar, if you are worried about it becoming invasive.
—Cyperus esculentus var. sativus. (50 tubers) CYPE-14. Packet: $2.50
Tubers: 1/4 lb: $6.00, lb: $12.00
'CHUFA', 'EARTH ALMOND', 'TIGER-NUTS'. Ornamental perennial to 8" - 3 feet.
Worldwide. Zone 8. Sow tubers in spring in moist places, harvest in October
or November. Cultivated for thousands of years for the sweet, nutritious,
nutty tubers. They are eaten raw, ground with water for a drink, in porridge,
toasted, dried, or roasted and ground as a coffee or chocolate substitute.
They become sweeter and more agreeable when dried, They contain
12 - 20% sucrose, 25 - 30% starch, and 27 - 29% of a sweet oil which can be
pressed and used in fine cooking. They are greatly esteemed in Europe, China
and Africa, and have been found in Egyptian tombs dating to 2400 BCE.
The Zulu chew them to relieve indigestion and bad breath. Excellent in swampy
waste areas for pig forage. This is a distinct cultivar, and does not become
weedy at all, and as such is NOT regulated by weed laws . This is because it
is sterile, and does not produce seed, is not freeze-hardy (Zone 8), and also
does not produce runners—the tubers are held right below the plant. The weedy
form is hardy to Zone 2.
Soak tubers until swollen, to germinate in 1 - 4 weeks or so.

 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thank you John Polk that is very helpful!
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
289
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you order anything from him (and I highly recommend him), be sure to request a catalog !
He has many, many permies type plants, hard to find seeds, and is as fair as can be regarding pricing.

I often use his very informative catalog as a reference.
If I could only keep one single catalog, it would be the JL Hudson's catalog.

 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
awesome! I will for sure be ordering from him at some point in the future!
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
well something went digging in my planters last night and probably ate a few. I need to protect the chufa from critters now hehe. the critter also went digging in the planters that have horse radish and dug one root out but decided it did not want to eat that! I am amused at the timing for the chufa thief to show up. I suspect it was raccoons since they are the biggest pest in my garden or they get the blame for everything since they are the only pest we have seen out here but whatever it was it liked chufa and not horseradish.
 
Tami Clark
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cyperus esculentus var. sativus. (50 tubers) CYPE-14. Packet: $2.50
Tubers: 1/4 lb: $6.00, lb: $12.00
'CHUFA', 'EARTH ALMOND', 'TIGER-NUTS'. Ornamental perennial to 8" - 3 feet


Now you have me wondering. I checked the latin name and it states:
(Cyperus esculentus) This plant is also called Ground Almond or Earth Chestnut. The nutty, sweet tasting, small tubers are quite delicious and produced underground on perennial, grass-like plants. An important food crop in Asia Minor and Egypt since ancient times. This delicacy has been grown for thousands of years; only now is it starting to get popular in America.

So, would the opinion be this is different from Nut Sedge, and not invasive??
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
one way to find out I guess would be to taste them both? I tasted one of the tubers when I planted mine and they where really good. my husband thought so too. I don't have the other plant to taste.
 
Tami Clark
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good idea! I would still be happy to share the seeds I have. What is the proper way to contact you for email address or for you to contact me Meryt?
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
send me an email to swarm@moonfroggy.com
 
Amedean Messan
pollinator
Posts: 928
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
34
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another source of Chufa that has been naturalized in American south east is from here: http://www.cypruskneechufa.com/whycypressknee.htm

You can get large quantities of chufa that is hardy to the east coast for good price. 85 dollars for a 50lb bag, only problem is that they are always sold out due to high quality and low price. Good family farm business to support.


 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
289
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cyperus esculentus var. sativus

It is the "var. sativus" which makes the one JLHudsons sells a different cultivar.
That cultivar is not the same as the common type.
I don't know how the taste would compare.

He has it rated as being hardy only to Zone 8 (frost will kill it, ergo not invasive).
I am planning a move to Zone 5-6 (depending on which hardiness map you believe), so his cultivar would do me no good unless I wanted to grow it as an annual.

The wild variety is rated as hardy to Zone 2, which means that it is not easily killed = invasive potential.
By the map supplied by cyprusknee, I would guess that theirs is probably not the wild variety either.

I guess that we need some of each to test hardiness and taste for ourselves.

 
Why is the word "abbreviation" so long? And this ad is so short?
Complete Wild Edibles Package by Sergei Boutenko (1 HD video + 10 eBooks)
https://permies.com/t/70674/digital-market/digital-market/Complete-Wild-Edibles-Package-Sergei
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!