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Common Cornsalad

Valerianella locusta

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
20 centimetres tall
Cliffs, fields, gardens, grassland, hedgerows, meadows, mountains, parks, riversides, roadsides, rocky places, sand dunes, seaside, towns, walls, wasteland, waterside, woodland.

White, 5 petals
The flowers are pale lilac or white, each measuring about 2mm across. The 5 petals are fused. 3 stamens.
The fruit is slightly flattened and globular. It has a smooth surface with 3 ridges on it. The fruit measures about 2mm in length. The seeds ripen from May to July.
An annual, square-stemmed overwintering plant with stalkless leaves. Common Cornsalad has a basal rosette of leaves and stem leaves. The leaves are spoon-shaped with rounded tips, up to 15cm (6 inches) long. Sometimes scarcely toothed. The stems are upright.
Common Cornsalad typically does not have a distinct or strong fragrance. The plant is more valued for its mild, tender leaves that are commonly used in salads, and its small, inconspicuous flowers. While it may have a subtle vegetal scent, the fragrance is not a prominent characteristic of Common Cornsalad. The appeal of this plant lies more in its delicate flavour and nutritional value rather than its aroma.
Other Names:
Cornsalad, Corn-salad, European Corn Salad, Fetticus, Field Salad, Lamb’s Lettuce, Lewiston Cornsalad, Mache, Milk Grass, Nut Lettuce, White Pot-herb.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Valerianella locusta, also known as corn salad or lamb's lettuce, is a plant species in the Valerianaceae family. It is native to Europe and is also found in parts of Asia and North America. Valerianella locusta is a small, annual herb with delicate, hairy stems and leaves and small, white or pale pink flowers that bloom in the summer. The plant is often found growing in fields, gardens, and other disturbed areas, and is often grown as a leaf vegetable. The leaves of the plant are edible and have a mild, sweet flavor, and are typically used in salads and other dishes. Valerianella locusta is also used in traditional herbal medicine, and is believed to have tonic and diuretic properties.


Common Cornsalad, also known as Valerianella locusta, is an edible green leafy vegetable that is native to Europe and Asia. It is also known by other names such as Lamb's Lettuce, Lambsquarters, and Rapunzel. The plant is an annual, herbaceous plant and has small, delicate leaves that are oval or round in shape.

The leaves of Common Cornsalad are known for their crunchy texture and fresh, slightly bitter taste, which makes it a popular ingredient in salads, sandwiches, and other dishes. The leaves are usually eaten raw, and are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium, calcium, and iron.

In addition to being a nutritious food, Common Cornsalad is also considered a medicinal plant. It has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including indigestion, nausea, and skin problems. The plant is also believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, and is sometimes used to treat minor wounds and burns.

One of the best things about Common Cornsalad is that it is very easy to grow. The plant is hardy and can thrive in a variety of soil types, as long as it is well-drained. It is also very resistant to pests and diseases, making it an ideal choice for organic gardeners.

In terms of harvesting, Common Cornsalad can be harvested throughout the growing season, from spring to autumn. The leaves can be picked as soon as they are large enough to be eaten, and the plant will continue to produce new leaves. This makes it a great option for those who want to have a constant supply of fresh greens.

Another great thing about Common Cornsalad is that it is very versatile in the kitchen. In addition to being a popular ingredient in salads, it can also be used in a variety of other dishes. For example, it can be added to soups and stews, used as a topping for sandwiches and wraps, or sauteed with garlic and olive oil as a side dish.

If you are interested in trying Common Cornsalad, it can be found at many specialty food stores and farmers markets. You can also easily grow it in your own garden, as long as you have a sunny spot and well-drained soil. Whether you choose to buy it or grow it yourself, be sure to enjoy the many delicious and nutritious benefits of this amazing plant!

Common Cornsalad is also a great plant for those who are looking to incorporate more wild or foraged foods into their diet. It is often found growing wild in meadows and along roadsides, and it is considered a common weed by some. However, it is perfectly safe to eat and is actually a very nutritious food that has been consumed for centuries.

In addition to being a nutritious food, Common Cornsalad is also a great plant for wildlife. It is a favored food of many species of birds, and its delicate flowers provide a source of nectar for bees and other pollinators. This makes it a great choice for those who are looking to create a wildlife-friendly garden.

Finally, it's worth mentioning that Common Cornsalad is a very sustainable food choice. Unlike many other vegetables that require large amounts of water, fertilizer, and pesticides to grow, Common Cornsalad is a hardy plant that can thrive with minimal care. This makes it a great choice for those who are looking to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

In conclusion, Common Cornsalad is a truly amazing plant that offers a wide range of benefits for those who enjoy fresh greens, healthy eating, and sustainable living. Whether you choose to buy it, grow it yourself, or forage it in the wild, be sure to enjoy the many delicious and nutritious benefits of this amazing plant!

30 Common Cornsalad Facts

  1. Scientific Name: Valerianella locusta
  2. Common Names: Common Cornsalad, Lamb's Lettuce, Mâche
  3. Native Habitat: Europe, Western Asia, North Africa
  4. Culinary Use: Edible greens often used in salads and as a garnish
  5. Nutritional Value: Rich in vitamins A and C, iron, and potassium
  6. Flowering Period: Spring to early summer
  7. Leaf Appearance: Small, spoon-shaped leaves arranged in rosettes
  8. Flavor Profile: Mild, slightly nutty taste
  9. Growth Habit: Low-growing annual or winter annual
  10. Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, rich in organic matter
  11. Light Requirement: Partial shade to full sun
  12. Temperature Tolerance: Cold-hardy, can withstand frost
  13. Cultivation: Easy to grow, often cultivated in cool-season gardens
  14. Seed Germination: Typically quick, germinates in cool temperatures
  15. Health Benefits: Supports heart health, aids digestion, and boosts immunity
  16. Culinary Pairing: Combines well with various dressings, fruits, and nuts
  17. Historical Significance: Traced back to ancient Rome, popular in European cuisines
  18. Harvest Time: Leaves are best harvested when young and tender
  19. Disease Resistance: Generally resistant to many common plant diseases
  20. Botanical Family: Caprifoliaceae
  21. Garden Companion: Can be interplanted with other cool-season crops
  22. Regional Variations: Different varieties may exhibit slight taste variations
  23. Wild Variants: Found in uncultivated areas, known as a wild green
  24. Environmental Impact: Low environmental footprint due to easy cultivation
  25. Adaptability: Grows well in containers, making it suitable for small gardens
  26. Bee Attraction: Flowers attract pollinators, contributing to biodiversity
  27. Folklore: Associated with various folklore and traditional medicinal uses
  28. Commercial Cultivation: Grown commercially for the culinary market
  29. Seed Saving: Seeds can be saved for future plantings
  30. Gastronomic Trends: Increasing popularity in modern, health-conscious diets.


Common Cornsalad filmed in Lancaster, Lancashire on the 15th May 2023.


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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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