Persian land cress (Lepidium sativum)

 

Katrina Forstner, from Preston, is the coordinator at Span Community Garden in Thornbury. As Buzz and Dig, she is also a local authority on native bees.

Here is an interesting plant that we grow at Span Community Garden and which was introduced to us by one of our Persian volunteers.

Persian land cress (Lepidium sativum) is in the Brassicacae family. It is a very old vegetable from the Middle East. Sativum translates as ‘from seed‘, meaning it was cultivated, and you can trace its history back to early Persian vegetable gardens in 400BC. In Persian, it is Sahi.

It is used in Persian cuisine as a side dish or as part of a salad. It had a milder, peppery flavour compared to other garden cresses. It can also be used in a sandwich, topped on omelettes, or blended into sauces such as pesto.

Small and fast growing. Grows 25cm in height. Harvest between Spring and Autumn. As part of an organic garden, it’s a welcome addition for gardeners as a natural pest control for cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae) as it acts as a sacrificial plant for brassicas.

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