Iberis amara

Botanical Name : Iberis amara
Family: Brassicaceae/Cruciferae
Genus:     Iberis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Brassicales

Common Name :candytuft.The name “candytuft” is not related to candy, but derives from Candia, the former name of Iraklion on the Island of Crete

Habitat: Found in various parts of Europe and in English and Scotch cornfields, specially in limestone districts.

Description:
Iberis amara is an annual plant.This plant is an erect, rather stiff, very bitter, 6 to 12 inches high; flowers milky white, forming a terminal flat corymb; leaves oblong, lanceolate, acute, toothed; pod nearly orbicular, the long style projecting from notch at top; it flowers with the corns.

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It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Easily grown in a good, well-drained ordinary garden soil in a sunny position. Prefers a calcareous soil but tolerates mildly acid soils. Succeeds in poor soils and on dry walls. A very ornamental plant. A fast growing plant, do not grow the plants too close together. The flowers are sweetly scented.

Propagation:    
Seed – sow spring in situ for summer flowering or late summer in situ for a spring flowering. The seed germinates within 3 weeks.

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Edible Uses : 
Edible Uses: Condiment.
The seeds are sometimes used as a source of mustard. Pungency of mustard develops when cold water is added to the ground-up seed – an enzyme (myrosin) acts on a glycoside (sinigrin) to produce a sulphur compound. The reaction takes 10 – 15 minutes. Mixing with hot water or vinegar, or adding salt, inhibits the enzyme and produces a mild bitter mustard

Medicinal Uses:
Antiarrhythmic;  Antiasthmatic;  AntirheumaticAntiscorbuticHomeopathy.

Little used in modern herbalism, rocket candytuft is a bitter-tasting tonic, aiding digestion and relieving wind and bloating. It is traditionally taken to treat gout, rheumatism and arthritis. All parts of the plant are antirheumatic and antiscorbutic. The seeds are considered very useful in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and dropsy. The plant is gathered in the summer and can be dried for later use. The seeds are harvested when fully ripe. A common homeopathic remedy is made from the seeds.

According to the US Dispensatory (1918), the leaves, stem, and root are said to possess medicinal properties, but the seeds are most efficacious.It has always been used for gout, rheumatism and kindred ailments, and is now usually combined with other plants for the same diseases in their acute form, and as a simple to allay excited action of the heart, especially when it is enlarged. For asthma, bronchitis and dropsy it is considered very useful. In large doses it is said to produce giddiness, nausea, and diarrhea, and to be useful in cardiac hypertrophy, asthma, and bronchitis in doses of from one to three grains (0.065—0.2 Gm.) of the seed. Currently the foliage and stalks are employed in German phytomedicine as a bitter digestive tonic.

A tincture made from the ripe seeds is much used in homoeopathy, but the plant is more generally used by American herbalists. All parts of the plant are used, leaves, stem, root and seeds, more particularly the latter.

Other Uses:
Iberis amara provides nourishment for a number of insect species of which the rare Euchloe tagis butterfly is the most striking example as it is monophagous on species in this genu.They are excellent for rock gardens, bedding and borders in full sun or light shade. Candytuft is a cold hardy, fast-growing annual with lance shaped green leaves. It reaches a height of about 12 inches with a spread of about 6 inches.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resourcs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iberis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Iberis+amara
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/canbit17.html

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