Nigella, Black-Seeded Culinary (Organic)
Nigella sativa. 100 days.
Attractive blue flowers look a lot like the related flower, Love-in-a-Mist, but Black-Seeded Culinary Nigella is a different species with closed seedpods that keep seeds safe inside. Plants grow 8-12” tall and while it does not produce many flowers, each flower is high yielding of small, aromatic black seeds that taste like nutmeg and black pepper. A great dual-purpose edible ornamental. This medicinal spice has been used for centuries in South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines and was reportedly even found in the tomb of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. Aka, Black Cumin, Black Seed, Black Caraway, Fennel Flower, Charnushka, Kalonji, Roman Corriander.
Direct sow after danger of frost has passed, 1/8″ deep, in rows that are 12″ apart. Thin seedlings to 3-4″ spacing. May also be sown indoors for transplant. Germinates best in cool soil early in the season. Will self-seed if seeds are left unharvested.
Harvest and Seed Saving
Collect seeds for culinary use or seed saving from seed heads that are fully dry. Thresh by hand; winnow or screen to clean. Some cross-pollination may occur, isolate from other varieties of the same species by 1/4 mile.