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Cochlearia officinalis - L.

Common Name Scurvy Grass, Spoonwort
Family Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Sea cliffs and coastal marshes[9, 12], it can also be found inland near salt mines or saline springs[9].
Range Coastal and mountainous regions of western, northern and central Europe, including Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Cochlearia officinalis Scurvy Grass, Spoonwort


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Cochlearia officinalis Scurvy Grass, Spoonwort
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Cochlearia officinalis is a BIENNIAL/PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, self.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw[2, 5, 9, 12, 55]. An acrid tarry flavour, it can be added in small quantities to salads for its high content of vitamin C[1, 66, 183]. Pleasantly sharp[17, 172]. Rather less than pleasant to most tastes, though there are occasional people who like it[K].

Medicinal Uses



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Antirheumatic;  Antiscorbutic;  Aperient;  Disinfectant;  Diuretic;  Stimulant;  Vitamin C.

The herb is antiscorbutic, aperient, disinfectant, diuretic and stimulant[4, 9, 21, 46]. This plant was highly valued by sailors of the past and was taken in the diet daily as a preventative for scurvy on long sea trips. Applied externally, the bruised leaves are used to heal ulcers[9]. It is best used when fresh though it can also be harvested in late spring or early summer and dried for later use[9].

Other Uses

Disinfectant.

None known

Cultivation details

Prefers a cool shady position[27]. Grows wild on acid or calcareous soils, but it avoids shady positions. Prefers a sandy or gritty well-drained soil[200]. At one time this plant was commonly eaten, especially by sailors, for its high Vitamin C content which can prevent or cure scurvy[1, 183]. A polymorphic species, it hybridizes with C. danica and C. anglica[17]. A good bee plant[200].

Propagation

Seed - sow spring or autumn in situ. Germination usually takes place within 2 - 3 weeks at 15°c[164].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

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Subject : Cochlearia officinalis  
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