Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Scorzonera hispanica
Scorzonera humilis

Scorzonera humilis/Lav Skorzoner

Scorzonera hispanica, black oyster plant or Viper's Grass or simply Scorzonera is a member of the sunflower family, cultivated as a root vegetable. It has heads of yellow flowers. It is native to Southern Europe and the Near East. It is generally thought to have spread to the rest of Europe from Spain. The name Scorzonera derives from the Old French word scorzon meaning snake. The Celtic and Germanic peoples are believed to have eaten the black salsify which was considered efficaceous against the bubonic plague and snake bites until the 16th century. The plant was being cultivated as a vegetable in Italy and France by 1660, and soon after, the Belgians were growing vast fields of it. The black salsify is considered very nutritious, and it is often eaten together with other vegetables and is popular in white sauce.

photo Torup, Mid Jutland 24. May 2009: grethe bachmann

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