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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Other Common Names Include:

White meadowfoam

Latin Name: Limnanthes alba Benth

Plant Family: Limnanthaceae

Close Relatives: Members of the Brassicales (mustard plants).

Uses and Markets: Meadowfoam seed oil is one of the most stable plant oils with both industrial (waxes, lubricants) and cosmetic (lotions, creams) uses.

Flowering meadowfoam being pollinated by bees Field of flowering meadowfoam
Production Life Cycle in Ontario


Hardiness Zone


Special Notes

Meadowfoam is a low growing herbaceous plant native to northern California, southern Oregon and Vancouver Island.  Meadowfoam is insect pollinated and requires 5 or more bee colonies per ha for good pollination under good weather conditions.

Propagation method

Seeds.  Plant at a depth of 0.6 to 2 cm

Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates


Field Seeding Date:

Late spring.  

Field Transplanting Dates


In-row spacing

33 to 40 kg seed/ha (~110000 seeds/kg)

Between row spacing

15 to 20 cm

Optimal Soil temperature at planting

Soil temperature must be below 12°C to prevent secondary dormancy.


No current Ontario fertility recommendations exist. Research and recommendations from outside Ontario do not necessarily apply to Ontario growing conditions. Research from the Pacific NW indicates fertility requirements of 45 to 70 kg N/ha, 22kgP2O5/ha and 22 to 34kg/ha K2O are acceptable. Click here for phosphorus and potassium application guidelines and for more information on specialty crop fertility.

Soil type

Poorly drained soils.

Soil pH

5.5 to 6

Special requirements for growth habit

Prefers cool, wet climates.

Optimal Temperature Range


Temperature sensitivity

Cold tolerant.

Irrigation requirements

Low tolerance to water stress.  Irrigation is beneficial under normal Ontario conditions for stand establishment and flowering/seed set. 

Days to harvest

When 90% of pods are mature (42% moisture) and stems are greenish yellow.

Specialized equipment


Harvest Scheduling

Single harvest.

Hand harvest or machine harvest

Machine harvest.

Quality parameters/grades

No established grades. Quality is determined by the market.

Additional Harvest Notes

Meadowfoam is swathed into windrows, then combined 7-10 days later when seed moisture is ~12% and the plants have dried to being brittle.

Post harvest
Special handling/curing

Seed may need to be passed through a debearder prior to seed cleaning.

Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): Low.

Temperature: Low.

Air Exchange: N/A

Duration: >1 year

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

Unknown – limited to no production of this crop in Ontario to date.

Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Meadowfoam fly (Scaptomyzas spp.)

Diseases: Botrytis cinerea* (grey mold),

Other: Weeds

*Indicates pests commonly mentioned as causing significant damage or economic loss to this crop in other regions.


Botrytis grey mold on stems, leaves and flowers has been reported as the most significant pest in other areas, particularly where high nitrogen fertilizers have created dense, lush canopies. .  Weed competition can also significantly affect yield, as young plants do not compete well with weeds. 

This crop is in the new (revised 2007) Crop Group 20: Oilseeds group, when grown as an oilseed.  For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section.  Always refer to product labels, and follow all directions specified on the label, before applying any pest control product.  For more information, consult an OMAFRA specialist.

Additional Notes


Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile
  1. Ehrensing, D.T., G.D. Jolliff, J.M. Crane and R.S. Karow. 1997. Growing Meadowfoam in the Willamette Valley.  Oregon State Extension Service.
  2. H. L. Bhardwaj, M. Rangappa and A. Hamama. 1999.  Establishment of Meadowfoam as a New Crop in Virginia.  In: Perspectives on new crops and new uses. J. Janick (ed).  ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.
  3. Oelke, E.A., E.S. Oplinger, C.V. Hanson and K.A. Kelling. 1990.  Meadowfoam.  In: Alternative Field Crops Manual.  University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension and University of Minnesota Extension Service.