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Valerianella locusta - (L.)Laterr.

Common Name Corn Salad, Lewiston cornsalad
Family Valerianaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Cultivated ground, waste places, hedgebanks, dunes etc, usually on dry soils[9, 17].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Valerianella locusta Corn Salad, Lewiston cornsalad

Valerianella locusta Corn Salad, Lewiston cornsalad


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Valerianella locusta is a ANNUAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from April to June, and the seeds ripen from May to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs). The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.


V. olitoria.


 Hedgerow; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Young leaves - raw[1, 2, 4, 5, 12, 27, 33, 37]. A very mild flavour, with a delicate quality that makes them seem to melt in the mouth, they can be added in quantity to salads[183]. The leaves can be available all year round from successional sowings and will only require protection in the colder winters[K]. Flowers and flowering stems - raw[183].

Medicinal Uses

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None known

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

A very easily grown plant, it prefers a fairly rich light soil[1, 37] though it tolerates most soils and wet or dry conditions[52]. Prefers a sunny position but tolerates some shade in summer[K]. This shade, plus an adequate supply of water, will slow down the plant's tendency to run to seed[200]. Late sowings will benefit from a sheltered sunny position and perhaps some protection in the winter. Often cultivated on a garden scale for its edible young leaves which, by successional sowing, can be available for most of the year although they will require protection in severe winters. There are several named varieties[183]. The plants do tend to run quickly to seed in the summer though. If allowed to flower, plants will often maintain themselves by self-sowing[K].


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Seed - in order to obtain a continuous supply of salad leaves, it is best to sow the seed successionally from early spring to late summer in situ. A late summer sowing might also succeed, and this would supply edible leaves in the winter.

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 NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Valerianella carinataKeeled-Fruited Cornsalad, European cornsalad20
Valerianella chenopodifolia 20
Valerianella eriocarpaItalian Corn Salad30
Valerianella radiataBeaked Cornsalad20


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

margarida Salgado   Wed Feb 13 2008

Can I plant valerianella locusta in an hydroponic sistem? can you inform me where can I buy seeds? I am in Portugal and I would like to try it.

Ana Rijo   Sat Sep 20 2008

Eu planto valerianella que em português se chama alface de cordeiro, mas na terra claro. Compro as sementes na Alemanha que eu saiba não há à venda cá, o que é estranho dado que é originária da bacia do Mediterrâneo. Dá-se muito bem mas apenas no Inverno porque assim que está calor começa a espigar. Neste clima, ou pelo menos aqui no sul dá-se melhor na meia-sombra.

David Nelson   Tue Sep 8 2009

My wife eats this as a salad green almost exclusively here in The Netherlands, but will sometimes mix with other greens. Shape of the leaves holds salad dressing, so less is needed and little is wasted. Here, the plant is called "Veldsla" and is packaged as whole young plants, multi-leaved and with bare roots attached. The two packages I have seen are 100 and 200 grams in weight. Wish this was available in the USA -- they need to get with it so we can find this when we get back. Here, it is priced more or less equally with what would be called mixed field greens in the US. So any fancy restaurant serving this in USA is capitalizing on the 'new' factor, and not the rarity of the plant. Whole greenhouses are dedicated to this stuff over here, so it certainly is nothing new to Europe. "

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