Young cucumber flavoured leaves. Height 30-60cm. Used in salads.
An evergreen herbaceous plant and supplying fresh edible leaves all the year round, even in quite severe winters. When grown as a salad, the plant should be prevented from flowering. Grows well in the spring meadow. Makes a good edging plant in the border.
Plants often self-sow, sometimes to the point of nuisance.
Plants have extensive root systems and are used for erosion control, they are also used to reclaim landfills and mined-out terrain.
Sow March/April or September/October in a cold frame. Germinates in 3 weeks. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle into individual pots. Plant them out in the spring or early summer.
The seed can also be sown in situ in spring or autumn if you have sufficient seed.
Young leaves and shoots - raw or cooked. They are best used before the plant comes into flower. Eaten in salads, used as a garnish or added to soups, cooling drinks and claret cups. Young seedlings are boiled and eaten. A bit fiddly to harvest and the leaves sometimes become bitter in hot dry summers, but they are usually fairly mild tasting in the winter and some people detect a cucumber flavour to them.
A herb tea is made from the dried leaves.