Oshá (Bear Root): Ligusticum porteri J.M. Coult. & Rose var. porteri
Oshá roots (Ligusticum porteri J.M. Coult. & Rose var. porteri [Apiaceae]) are prized by Native Americans as a medicinal for respiratory illnesses; roots from wild stands are most commonly used. Native to the western and southwestern US, oshá is a slow-growing plant that takes up to 10 y to reach harvestable mass in the wild. Demand for L. porteri has been increasing and over-harvest threatens native stands. Attempts to propagate oshá for replenishing native stands and for developing alternatives to wild harvest have been inconsistent and variable by seed source. Simple seed stratification methods were tested to propagate plants for sustainable production of oshá. Seed germination of 3 commercial seed sources (New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado) improved when the stratification period was adjusted for origin of seeds. An increased duration of stratification (>10 wk) was required for the more northern sources. These results indicate that common seed stratification can be used to develop nursery plants for re-establishment and production of harvestable roots.
Native Plants Journal
Terrell, Bernadette and Fennell, Anne, "Oshá (Bear Root): Ligusticum porteri J.M. Coult. & Rose var. porteri" (2009). Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Faculty Publications. 349.