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Cochlearia officinalis
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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Scurvy-grass (Cochlearia officinalis, Linn.), a common European perennial, is so called from its anti-scorbutic qualities which have long been recognized. Stimulant, diuretic, stomachic, and laxative properties have been ascribed to it. In general appearance—leaf, flower, and fruit—it somewhat resembles its close relative, water-cress, but in flavor it is acrid, bitter, pungent, and has a strong suggestion of tar. Bruising reveals a disagreeable odor. When cultivated it is treated as an annual, the seed being sown on garden loam in a cool, shady place where the plants are to remain. It is grown to a limited extent in America, has escaped from cultivation, but so far has not become obnoxious as a weed like water-cress and horse-radish. Consult Vol. II, p. 808, for botanical description.CH

Cochlearia officinalis, Linn. Scurvy-grass. Hardy biennial, 2-12 in. high, but cult, as an annual: root-lvs. petioled, cordate; st.-lvs. oblong, more or less toothed and sometimes with a short-winged petiole: fls. early spring; calyx-lobes erect. Arctic regions.—Prop, by seed, which is small, oval, slightly angular, rough-skinned, reddish brown. The germinating power lasts 4 years. The green parts of the plant are strongly acrid, and have a tarry flavor. The seed is sown in a cool, shady position, where the plants are to stand. The Lvs. are rarely eaten as salad, but the plant is mostly grown for its anti-scorbutic properties. Not to be confounded with water-cress.CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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