Crithmum maritimum is the source of the delicious culinary delicacy, Rock Samphire.
Delicious & chic edible
So you may have seen it featuring on the TV cooking series “Masterchef” recently.
As Samphire is ow a very chic ingredient for stylish meals.
Though in fact it has been a delicious and popular food since humans first began gathering edibles.
Delicious cooked or eaten raw
So young tender shoots are tossed fresh in salads; while leaves are steamed as a vegetable; and stems, leaves and seeds all make delicious, tangy pickles, preserves and sauces.
It not only tastes good, but it is also good for you.
Because Rock Samphire is very high in Vitamin C and anti-oxidants.
So it was also traditionally preserved for taking on long sea voyages to prevent scurvy.
Serve as appetizer, vegetable with fish & meat, or as a condiment
Rock Samphire has it’s own unique flavour, with a hint of exotic spice and the sea.
So it is popular served in olive oil as a delicious appetizer.
Or steamed with garlic and lemon to accompany fish and meat.
And made into tangy sauces and preserves.
Or just popped on a pizza.
It is always delicious and distinctive.
Tough & easy to grow
Crithmum maritimum is easy to grow in the garden and so rewarding in the kitchen.
Providing you have a position with well-drained soil and sun for most of the day.
Then you can harvest delicious Samphire all year round.
However it will not tolerate wet feet in any shape or form.
Thrives in a tub or the garden
But fortunately for those with heavy soil – it also thrives in a tub. Where you can easily provide good drainage.
In previous centuries it was gathered from the wild along rocky shores and cliffs from Croatia to Scotland (it is that hardy).
But it is such a prized delicacy that it was almost gathered to extinction, and is now protected in the wild.
Extra drought tolerant & tough grower
Crithmum maritimum is native to the stony shores of the Black Sea, sandy dunes, and other hot parts of Northern Africa and Europe.
Water-wise & heat resistant
So it naturally basks in heat and manages very well on minimal water.
Copes well with saline soils or water
Crithmum maritimum can adapt well to salty conditions, saline soils and seaside gardening.
However it is not necessary to garden by the sea to grow it perfectly.
As it is equally as happy in inland gardens and pots, providing it has that good drainage and sun.
It enjoys plenty of lime.
Frost hardy evergreen perennial
Crithmum maritimum is a frost hardy, evergreen perennial.
It is low growing and forms a cushion shape.
Approx. 30cm. High x 30cm. Wide.
SEED SOWING ADVICE: QUICK & EASY
Suitable for beginners & gardening with kids
Seeds for Crithmum maritimum can be sown at any time indoors in punnets when temperatures are suitable / or sown outdoors in pots in autumn.
Seeds should be stored in the fridge (not freezer) if you are not sowing immediately.
Place the packet in a clip lock bag and seal before storing in the fridge until you are ready to sow.
Sow indoors for early plants: First sow the seeds in a punnet on the surface of good quality seed raising mix.
Then gently pat the surface of the mix to ensure the seeds have good contact with the mix.
And barely cover the seeds with sieved mix / fine grit.
Because these seeds need light to germinate.
Now thoroughly moisten the mix by standing the sown punnet in a shallow water bath and allowing the water to percolate through from below, until the surface is moist.
Place the punnet in a warm, well lit position (not in any direct sunlight).
Temperatures around 15C are ideal for rapid and optimum germination.
You can use a heat mat to maintain temperature if you have one, but it is not essential as these seeds are willing germinators.
A sheltered window sill or warm corner is fine.
Then continue to keep consistently moist by misting from a spray water bottle as required.
Covering the punnet with a clear plastic cover will help maintain consistent moisture and prevent drying out.
Seedlings may begin emerging as soon as 21 days, but normally 21-42 days.
Seed count: 40 seeds per pack approx.
(We always aim to exceed the seed count and give a generous serve).
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