Valerianella locusta ‘Verte de Cambrai’ | ‘Corn Salad’, ‘Lamb’s Lettuce’, ‘Mâche’ | 50 seeds
‘Lamb’s Lettuce’, or Valerianella locusta (syn. Valeriana locusta, Valeriana locusta var. olitoria, Valerianella olitoria) is a small, leafy vegetable of the Caprifoliaceae family which is popularly eaten as a salad green. The species is highly nutritious and is a great source of beta-carotene, B6, iron, potassium and vitamin C (three times as much as lettuce). Native to large parts of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia, locusta is also naturalised to countries such as the USA, as well as being widely cultivated commercially – notably in France. This listing is for seeds of the French heritage variety ‘Verte De Cambrai’.
The popularity of Valerianella locusta (eaten for at least three hundred years) has caused many informal names to be coined, including ‘Common Cornsalad’, ‘Corn Salad’, ‘Doucette’, ‘Feldsalat’, ‘Fetticus’, ‘Field Salad’, ‘Lamb’s Lettuce’, ‘Lamb’s Tongue’, ‘Mâche’, ‘Nüssler’, ‘Nüsslisalat’, ‘Nut Lettuce’, ‘Raiponce’ and ‘Rapunzel’. Characteristically nutty and with a tender, buttery texture, ‘Lamb’s Lettuce’ grows as a multi-branched rosette (up to approximately thirty centimetres in total diameter) which sprouts broadly tapering, dark green ovoid leaves up to roughly fifteen or so centimetres in length. Clusters of delicate, blue-violet-white flowers appear between mid-spring and mid-summer.
‘Lamb’s Lettuce’ is quite easy to grow from seed (so much so that it’s considered invasive by several countries) and makes a great addition to any kitchen garden in USDA Hardiness Zones 5-10. Space the plants at least thirty centimetres apart somewhere in full sun, where the temperature will remain above a minimum of -12.22ºC (-10ºF). Water thoroughly as the soil becomes dry.
All the seed sold by Arkham’s Botanical was freshly and ethically sourced