Camelina History -

Resources of the Southern fields and forests, medical, economical, and agricultural. (A medical botany of the Confederate States; with practical information on the useful properties of the trees, plants, and shrubs.) F.P. Porcher – Evans & Cogswell 1863

Summary: “Camelina sativa – a new oil plant.” In some parts of the world it is cultivated for its stems, which yield a fibre applicable for spinning, and for its oleiferous seeds. Mérat says it was cultivated for this purpose in Flanders. Mr. Wm. Taylor, F. L. S., has recently drawn the attention of agriculturists and others to this plant as an oil plant, adapted for feeding cattle, and for other purposes. He says that the soils best adapted for its cultivation are those of a light nature, but a crop will never fail on land of the most inferior description. It has been found to flourish this year on sandy soils, where no other vegetable would grow, and independent of the drought, the plants have grown most luxuriantly, yielding a large and certain crop. When grown upon land that has been long in tillage and well farmed, the crop will be most abundant. The best time for putting in the seed is as early as possible in the spring months, say from the middle of March or the middle of April to June, and for autumn sowing to August; and the quantity per acre required, fourteen pounds; and may be either drilled or broadcast, but the drilled method should be preferred. If drilled, the rows must be twelve inches apart. As soon as the plants have grown five or six inches high, a hand or horse hoe may be used to cut up the weeds between the rows, and no further culture or expense will be required. If sown early, two crops may be frequently obtained in one year, as it is fit for harvesting in three months after the plant makes its first appearance. Or another important advantage may be obtained: if seed is sown early in March, the crop will be ready to harvest in the beginning of July, and the land fallowed for wheat or spring corn; also when barley or small seeds cannot be sown sufficiently early, this may be put in with great success. It is a plant that may be cultivated after any corn crop, without doing the least injury to the land, and may be sown with all sorts of clover; the leaves of the gold of pleasure, being particularly small, afford an uninterrupted growth to every plant beneath it, and with the crop being removed early, the clover has time to establish itself.