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Narrow-leaved Cornsalad

Valerianella dentata

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
50 centimetres tall
Fields, gardens, wasteland.

White, 5 petals
Tiny pale pink or lilac-coloured flowers with green bracts. The flowers appear together inside small branched clusters.
Egg-shaped fruit, flat on one side, about 1mm in length.
A hairless annual plant with hairless, oval to lance-shaped leaves. The leaves can be either slightly toothed or untoothed. Often found growing in limy cornfields. The stems are square in cross-section.
Other Names:
Corn Salad, Smooth-fruited Cornsalad, Toothpick Weed.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Valerianella dentata, also known as toothpick weed or corn salad, 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 dentata 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 dentata is also used in traditional herbal medicine, and is believed to have tonic and diuretic properties.


Narrow-leaved Cornsalad: An Underrated Leafy Green with Surprising Benefits

Have you ever heard of Narrow-leaved Cornsalad, also known as Valerianella dentata? This leafy green is often overlooked and underutilized in modern cuisine, but it is worth taking a closer look. With its delicate flavor and numerous health benefits, Narrow-leaved Cornsalad is a vegetable that deserves a place in your diet.

What is Narrow-leaved Cornsalad?

Narrow-leaved Cornsalad is a small, low-growing plant that belongs to the Valerianaceae family. It is native to Europe and Asia, but can now be found growing all over the world. The plant has narrow, lance-shaped leaves that are bright green in color and have a crisp texture. The leaves are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked. Narrow-leaved Cornsalad is typically used as a salad green, but it can also be used in soups, stews, and other dishes.

The Health Benefits of Narrow-leaved Cornsalad

One of the biggest benefits of Narrow-leaved Cornsalad is its high nutritional value. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and iron. The leafy green is also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, making it a great food to include in a balanced diet.

Narrow-leaved Cornsalad is also low in calories, making it an ideal food for those who are trying to maintain a healthy weight. The leaves are high in fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied between meals. This can help to reduce the likelihood of snacking on junk food or overeating.

In addition to its nutritional benefits, Narrow-leaved Cornsalad has been shown to have other health-promoting effects. Some studies have found that consuming the leafy green can help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. It may also have a positive effect on gut health and boost the immune system, due to its high levels of vitamins and antioxidants.

How to Incorporate Narrow-leaved Cornsalad into Your Diet

The delicate flavor and crisp texture of Narrow-leaved Cornsalad make it a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different dishes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Salad: Narrow-leaved Cornsalad is a great addition to any salad. The leaves can be used on their own or mixed with other greens and vegetables. Try adding some chopped nuts, fruit, and cheese for added flavor and texture.

  • Sandwiches: Narrow-leaved Cornsalad can be used as a sandwich filling, either by itself or with other ingredients such as chicken, ham, or cheese. The crisp texture and delicate flavor of the leaves will add a fresh burst of flavor to any sandwich.

  • Soups and stews: Narrow-leaved Cornsalad can be used to add flavor and nutrition to soups and stews. The leaves will retain their crisp texture, even after being cooked, which will add a nice texture to the dish.

  • Smoothies: Narrow-leaved Cornsalad can be used in smoothies to add a burst of flavor and nutrition. Simply add a handful of leaves to your favorite smoothie recipe for a delicious and healthy treat.

In conclusion, Narrow-leaved Cornsalad is a delicious and nutritious leafy green that is often overlooked. With its delicate flavor, high nutritional value, and numerous health benefits, it is definitely worth incorporating into your diet. So next time you're at the grocery store, why not give Narrow-leaved Cornsalad a try? Your taste buds and your body will thank you!

Growing Narrow-leaved Cornsalad at Home

If you have a green thumb, consider growing Narrow-leaved Cornsalad in your home garden. This hardy plant is easy to grow and requires very little maintenance. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Soil: Narrow-leaved Cornsalad prefers well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. It can be grown in either full sun or partial shade, but will produce the best results in a sunny location.

  • Planting: Narrow-leaved Cornsalad can be planted directly in the garden in early spring, or it can be started indoors and then transplanted when the weather has warmed. The plants should be spaced about 6-8 inches apart.

  • Watering: Narrow-leaved Cornsalad requires regular watering, especially during dry spells. The soil should be kept moist but not waterlogged.

  • Harvesting: Narrow-leaved Cornsalad is ready to be harvested about 50-60 days after planting. The leaves can be harvested at any time, but they are most flavorful and tender when they are young. To harvest, simply snip the leaves off the plant, leaving a few inches of the stem intact to promote further growth.

Narrow-leaved Cornsalad is a great addition to any home garden, and it's a great way to enjoy fresh, healthy greens throughout the growing season. So why not give it a try and start growing your own Narrow-leaved Cornsalad today!

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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