I grow a small patch of flax for the first time this year and I found the slender plants look a lot like bush clover lespedeza sericea. They are abundant around here as invasive weeds.
I took some stems and peeled off the barks, then twisted them into a short cord. So it seems possible to use the plant for fiber. Has anybody tried this before? If so, when is it best to harvest and how to ret the stem? Is the fiber strong and long lasting? Welcome to share your experience.
There are so many uses for different plants, and someone had to be first to say `I wonder if this will work?`
My `go-to` reference for plant uses the Ferns website, came up with papermaking for Lespedeza cuneata (a synonym) so it sounds like the fibres are maybe not very strong or durable. The leaves are allegedly edible (do your own research!) and for many lezpedeza varieties the stems are useful for either basket making or brooms, presumably depending on strength and length.
I sowed a few Lezpedeza bicolour and got a good germination. I`m wanting them to get a bit bigger before planting out though and several died from negect in my polytunnel this summer. I think they won`t like my wet winters, but they are supposed to be good biomass plants so I thought I`d give it a go. I`ll plant the survivors out next spring.
Thanks Nancy. I chop and drop when shoots are younger, they are easy to snap at the base. Small leaves make great mulch for seedling bed. Now they are very seedy I just let them be to out compete poison ivy.
I do find lots of things in the garden as potential fiber plants. Maybe not as strong as flax but still good for baskets. Here I pull up something tansy like to see what I can do with the wirery stems.
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