Valerianella olitoria

Botanical Name: Valerianella olitoria
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Genus: Valerianella
Species: V. locusta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dipsacales
Synonyms:   Lamb’s Lettuce. Valerian locusta (Linn.). White Pot Herb. Lactuca agnina.
(French) Loblollie. Mâche. Doucette. Salade de Chanoine. Salade de Prêtre.

Common names: Corn salad, Common cornsalad, Lamb’s lettuce,  Mâche, Fetticus,  Feldsalat, Nut lettuce,  Field salad, and Rapunzel. In restaurants that feature French cooking, it may be called doucette or raiponce
Habitat : Valerianella olitoria is native to Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia. It is  now grows wild in parts of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. In Europe and Asia it is a common weed in cultivated land and waste spaces. In North America it has escaped cultivation and become naturalized on both the eastern and western seaboards
Description:
Valerianella olitoria is a small, annual, bright-green plant, with succulent stems, 6 to 12 inches high, generally forking from the very base, or at least within the lowest quarter of their height. The first leaves, springing from the root, are 1 to 3 inches long, bluntly lance-shaped scarcely-stalked, generally decaying early. The stem leaves are quite stalkless, often stem-clasping. The flowers are minute and are greenish-white in appearance, arranged in close, rounded, terminal heads, surrounded by narrow bracts, the tiny corolla is pale lilac, but so small that the heads of flowers do not give the appearance of any colour…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation & propagation:   When cultivated in gardens, Valerianella olitoria may be sown in rows all through the autumn, winter and early spring, so as to produce a constant succession of crops. A small portion of garden earth sown with the seeds in August, will supply an excellent portion of the salad throughout the winter. The younger the leaves, the better they taste in salad.

Edible Uses: Young leaves  is eaten  raw as salad. A very mild flavour, with a delicate quality that makes them seem to melt in the mouth, they can be added in quantity to salads. The leaves can be available all year round from successional sowings and will only require protection in the colder winters. Flowers and flowering stems  are also  eaten raw.

Nutrition:
Valerianella olitoria  or corn salad has many nutrients, including three times as much vitamin C as lettuce, beta-carotene, B6, iron, and potassium. It is best if gathered before flowers appear

Medicinal Uses:
This herb was in request by country folk in former days as a spring medicine, and a homoeopathic medicinal tincture is made from the fresh root.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerianella_locusta
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/corsa104.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Valerianella+locusta

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