French Scorzonera (Reichardia picroides)

Perennial
R. macrophylla. Picridium vulgare.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
French Scorzonera
Reichardia picroides
Compositae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Leaves – raw or cooked[2, 27, 37, 52, 105]. Mild and good[37]. A pleasant agreeable flavour with a slight sweetness and very little fibre, it makes a very acceptable lettuce substitute and we use it in large quantities in salads[K]. The older leaves seem to be even nicer, even when the plant is in flower[K].

    Root – raw or cooked[2, 177, 183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow March/April in a warm position outdoors and then in succession if required until the autumn. Only just cover the seed. Germination is usually very good and quick. We usually make a sowing in the spring in the greenhouse, pricking out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle, and then planting them out in late spring or early summer. Established plants can self-sow quite freely in disturbed ground.
Easily grown in any moderately fertile well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. Grows best in a shady position in summer[37], where it will produce better quality leaves[K]. It prefers plenty of moisture in the growing season[200], though it is fairly drought tolerant once established[K]. Plants are very tolerant of poor soils[K]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10¡c[200]. It is likely to be hardier when grown in a soil on the poor soil, though the leaves will not be so tender nor so freely produced[K]. Plants are also likely to be hardier in well-drained soils and dislike very wet weather[K]. Plants are often short-lived, though they are self-sowing quite freely in Cornwall[K]. A very easily grown plant, it has also proved to be almost totally slug-proof, even in a very heavily slug-infested garden[K]. Formerly cultivated as a cut and come again salad crop in S. Europe[27, 37], producing a harvestable yield within 10 weeks of sowing the seed[K]. This plant is possibly useful as a winter salad crop, growing in a sunny fairly sheltered position in Cornwall it has been yielding very well and continuously for a period of 18 months since the summer of 1993[K]. It requires more investigation[K].
S. Europe.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.