Meadow Foam Fast Facts

Meadow Foam Fast Facts image by Flickr.com
Meadow Foam Fast Facts image by Flickr.com

Overview

Meadowfoam is an herbaceous annual plant that blooms in winter. It is named for its creamy colored blooms, which can look like sea foam in the wind. Since 1980, meadowfoam has been cultivated for its oil.

Characteristics

Meadowfoam grows to an average height of 10 to 18 inches. It is best adapted to soil with poor drainage.

Range

Meadowfoam can be found growing wild in Northern California, southern Oregon and Vancouver Island. Oregon's Willamette Valley has at least 5,000 acres of meadowfoam fields as of 2009.

Meadowfoam Oil

Meadowfoam oil is 90 percent fatty acids yet is very stable compared with other oils. The meadowfoam seeds contain 20 percent to 30 percent oil. This oil can also be made into a solid light-colored wax.

Uses

In industrial applications, meadowfoam oil is in direct competition with rapeseed (canola) oil. Meadowfoam oil is prized in cosmetic products such as lotion and soap for its moisturizing properties. After the oil is expressed, the remaining meal can be used as cattle feed.

Potential

Meadowfoam is becoming competitive in the oilseed market. Future applications for meadowfoam oil are still being researched.

References

  • Agricultural Marketing Resource Center Meadowfoam
  • Meadowfoam
Keywords: meadowfoam, oils, flower

About this Author

Kathryn Keep is an eco consultant and full time mother. She is a graduate student studying ecology. Her favorite topics are environmental issues, alternative health, home decorating, green building and general sustainable living.

Photo by: Flickr.com