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Conopodium majus - (Golian.)Loret.

Common Name Pignut
Family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woods, hedgerows and fields. It is never found on alkaline soils[12].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Norway to Spain, east to Italy and Corsica.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Conopodium majus Pignut


Conopodium majus Pignut
http://flickr.com/photos/tico_bassie/

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Conopodium majus is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

C. denudatum. Bunium flexuosum.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Hedgerow; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root
Edible Uses:

Tubers - raw or cooked[2, 5, 12, 17, 63, 100]. A very pleasant food with a flavour somewhat between a sweet potato and hazelnuts, with a hot aftertaste of radish[115, 183, K]. We have never detected this hot aftertaste, and feel that the flavour is reminiscent of brazil nuts[K]. There is only one tuber on each plant, this is rather small and difficult to harvest, but the size could probably be increased by cultivation[115, K].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Never found on alkaline soils in the wild[12]. See the plants native habitat for other ideas on its cultivation needs. This species responds to cultivation by producing larger tubers[115]. With careful selective breeding it is probably possible to produce a much more productive plant[K]. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a clumper with limited spread [1-2].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually quick and good[K]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out when in early summer. It is also possible to sow in situ, though this requires a lot more seed to produce the same amount of plants from a protected sowing. Division in late summer as the plant dies down.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

(Golian.)Loret.

Botanical References

17

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Lynne the Witch   Sat Sep 2 2006

A bit concerned about the identification as there are a number of poisonous umbellifers. Trying to find some positive means of identification

   Tue May 15 2007

This is a useful link, Lynne: http://www.countrylovers.co.uk/wfs/pignut.htm Or you could dig one up, with the tuber, and identify it that way.

   Tue Sep 4 2007

They have very fine leaves and flower before most umbellifers, and yeah ... the tuber is the sign its a pignut!

Phill   Fri Jun 19 2009

I have found pignut with four plants growing from the same tuber. i have tried them in Yorkshire, North Devon and Salisbury and the hot peppery after taste was obvious in North Devon, milder in Yorkshire and not detectable in Salisbury.

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