Carum bulbocastanum Koch
Carum persicum Boiss.
Common Name: Black Caraway
Bunium persicum is an erect, herbaceous perennial plant growing from underground tubers; it produces one or more stems that branch from the middle, growing from 40 - 60cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of an essential oil. It is occasionally cultivated for its edible seeds, which are used as a cumin-like flavouring[
South-eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Siberia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan northwestern India
Gentle exposed mountain slopes in C. Asia[
]. Dry scrubby slopes in the Himalayas[
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A native of the temperate to subtropical zones, the plant can be grown as an annual in more tropical areas.
The plant is likely to prefer a well-drained light to medium soil in sun or light shade.
Root - raw or cooked[
]. Tastes like sweet chestnuts.
Seed - used as a flavouring[
], a cumin substitute. Highly valued as a spice in Pakistan where it is often preferred to cumin as an ingredient in curries because of its stronger flavour[
]. A more complex flavour than cumin[
The essential oil of the fruits is widely used for seasoning pickles, meat sauce[
The seeds are carminative and diuretic[
An essential oil from the seeds is used to make candles aromatic[
Seed - sow in containers. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until large enough to plant out.
Division in spring or autumn.
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