Lebanese Cress is an attractive, fern-like perennial herb which is very easy to grow. This plant enjoys moist conditions and semi-shade, especially through the summer season. It can grow to about 15cm (6 inches) tall in really good conditions and will quickly spread along the ground, putting down roots where it’s nodes touch the ground. It makes an attractive ground cover and is delicious in a toss salad, sandwiches or as a garnish.
This plant is worth growing just for its attractive fern-like fronds, but you wouldn’t want to waste its wonderful culinary versatility. So enjoy its beauty and usefulness.
There seems to be some debate in various forums about the botanical name of this plant, but Aethionema corditloum is what was on the label of the original plant I bought.
The natural habitat for Lebanese Cress is in or near a flowing stream, but it is actually quite adaptable. It will even tolerate drought-like conditions for a few days if it’s in semi-shade. So you don’t have to have a creek flowing through your place to enjoy this wonderful plant.
Lebanese Cress will happily grow in a good sized pot for many years, but it prefers to spread out along the ground and this is how you’ll get the best benefit from this plant too. You’ll be able to pick from it more frequently if you let it spread.
Grow Lebanese Cress in rich, moisture retaining soil in semi-shade (under a shady tree or shade-cloth is ideal) and keep moist as much as possible. If it does become heat stressed you can usually revive it with a good watering.
Uses: Culinary, Medicinal
Lebanese Cress is a delightful plant to add to any salad, with it’s fresh carrot flavor and beautiful fern-like fronds. Because it’s so attractive it also serves well as a garnish for almost any dish. You could also include Lebanese Cress in soups and casseroles. It adds a crisp-ness to a salad sandwich too.
I believe Lebanese Cress has medicinal properties also, but have been unable to find anything solid. You could try asking your naturopath.
It really couldn’t be much simpler. Just pick, wash and eat – fresh from the garden or tossed into a salad of your choice. EASY!
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