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Sium sisarum - L.

Common Name Skirret, Suikerwortel (Netherlands), Crummock (Scotland), Zuckewurzel (Germany)
Family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae
USDA hardiness 4-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known in a truly wild situation but found as an escape from cultivation in damp places[50].
Range Original habitat is obscure, possibly in E. Europe or Asia.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Sium sisarum Skirret, Suikerwortel (Netherlands), Crummock (Scotland),  Zuckewurzel (Germany)


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Illustration_Sium_sisarum0.jpg
Sium sisarum Skirret, Suikerwortel (Netherlands), Crummock (Scotland),  Zuckewurzel (Germany)
© Jaap Uilhoorn

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Sium sisarum is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf from March to November, in flower in July, and the seeds ripen in September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root
Edible Uses: Coffee

Root - raw or cooked[2, 4, 14, 33]. Firm, sweet and floury[27] but with a small woody core[160, K]. The roots have a very acceptable taste raw, that is somewhat like a cross between carrots and parsnip but with a nutty flavour. They can also be boiled, baked or added to soups etc[183, K]. The roasted root has been used as a coffee substitute[46, 61, 183].

References

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.
Appetizer

None known

References

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Food Forest

References

Cultivation details

Prefers a light, rich, moisture retentive soil in full sun[1, 33, 37]. Requires an abundance of moisture in the growing season or the roots will be tough[27, 37]. Plants are tolerant of some shade[244]. Plants seem to be resistant to all insects and diseases[160]. Skirret was at one time often grown for its edible root but has fallen into virtual disuse[2, 50, 61]. This is a shame since the root is very tasty, easy to grow and relatively productive[K]. The form S. sisarum sisarum should be used, its root is fleshy and succulent, S. sisarum lancifolium. (Bieb.) Thell. is sometimes offered but is unlikely to produce roots of culinary quality[200]. 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]. The root pattern is tuberous with swollen potato-like roots [1-2].

References

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - sow late winter to early spring in a cold frame[1, 33]. It can be slow to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer if they are large enough. Otherwise, grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in the following spring. The seed is best sown in early April in situ[1, 33]. Division in early spring just before new growth begins. Use the side roots to produce new plants[1]. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

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 :

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12

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

L.

Botanical References

50200

Links / References

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

Readers comment

   Jun 27 2011 12:00AM

I grew easily this plant a few years ago, in a shade garden, and was very successful. It flowered extensively also. I like the taste of the root but can be a bit fibrous sometimes. I got seeds but unfortunately lost them. It's not so easy to get this plant, seeds or roots. I haven't tried cooked, but I assume it would be even more tastier. Nice addition to your forest garden.

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Subject : Sium sisarum  
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