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Vaccaria hispanica - (Mill.)Rauschert.

Common Name Cow Cockle, Cow soapwort
Family Caryophyllaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards The seeds and other parts of the plant contain saponins[218, 240]. Although toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm, they are also broken down if thoroughly heated[K]. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is not advisable to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].
Habitats A weed of cultivated fields[50].
Range C. and S. Europe, north to Belgium. An introduced and not infrequent casual in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Moist Soil Full sun
Vaccaria hispanica Cow Cockle, Cow soapwort


Vaccaria hispanica Cow Cockle, Cow soapwort

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Vaccaria hispanica is a ANNUAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

V. pyramidata. V. segetilis. V. vulgaris. Saponaria vaccaria. L.

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Leaves - used as a condiment[177, 179, 183]. Seed - ground into a meal[179]. Rich in starch[179]. The seed contains 13.8 - 16.1% protein and 1.6 - 3.2% fat[218]. The seed also contains saponins, see notes above on toxicity[218].

Composition
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Seed (Dry weight)
  • 0 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 15g; Fat: 2.5g; Carbohydrate: 0g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;
  • Reference: [ 218]
  • Notes: The report does not make it clear whether this is a zero moisture basis.

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anodyne;  Antiphlogistic;  Antipruritic;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Febrifuge;  Galactogogue;  Oxytoxic;  
Styptic;  Vulnerary.

The seed is anodyne, discutient, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, styptic and vulnerary[147, 176, 178, 218]. A decoction is used to treat skin problems, breast tumours, menstrual problems, deficiency of lactation and sluggish labour[218]. The seeds are also taken internally as a galactogogue[218]. The flowers, leaves, roots and shoots also have the same properties[218]. The sap of the plant is said to be febrifuge and tonic[240]. It is used in the treatment of long-continued fevers of a low type[240]. The plant is used externally to cure itch[240].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Succeeds in any well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. Sometimes cultivated for its seed which is often added to wild bird foods[200]. By this means, the plant is often found as an introduced casual in Britain[200].

Propagation

Seed - sow April in situ[1].

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

(Mill.)Rauschert.

Botanical References

50200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

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Subject : Vaccaria hispanica  
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