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Food Forest Plants

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Alexanders, Black Lovage; Smyrnium olusatrum, Seeds

Buy alexander herb plant seeds, a perennial food plant for the shady spot.


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Alexanders is a semi-wild plant for the understory of your foerest-garden. It gives you celery-like leaves in winter while caring for itself.

 The stalks with the leaves grow about knee high. In late summer, the plant grows a flower stalk up to 1.5m high, an umbel flower appears and later the black seeds – beautiful! Alexanders is actually also grown as an ornamental.

How to eat Alexanders:

The whole plant is edible: roots, flower buds and even the seeds.

Alexanders is an ancient food source, cultivated for many centuries and widely grown by the Romans, who introduced it into western and central Europe including the British Isles. It was an important vegetable used in many dishes in much the same ways as celery or lovage and it was often used blanched to accompany winter salads.

How to grow and germinate the seeds:

Alexanders or Black Lovage is a biennial, but since planting it initially, I was never without the plant as it self seeds vigurously. Alexander seeds need a period of cold and moist stratification. That means in warmer climates it will probably not self seed.

If you are in a cooler climate sow the seeds in autumn outdoor and don’t forget to water. Otherwise cold-stratify the seeds in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Use a ziplock bag and moist sand to do that – sticking the dry seeds in the fridge won’t work!

Climate Zones: 6a (-23.3C) -9b (-3.8C)

Seed harvest: summer 2022

Seed count: minimum 10 (usually way more)


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