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Keeled-fruited Cornsalad

Valerianella carinata

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
20 centimetres tall
Fields, gardens, rocky places, walls, wasteland.

White, 5 petals
The tiny flowers are pale blue or white and appear in branched clusters. Flowers have 3 stamens.
The fruit is oblong to globular and has a deep groove on one side. In order to distinguish this species from other UK Cornsalad species, careful observation of the fruit is essential. Keeled-fruited Cornsalad is the only UK species with a deep groove on the fruit.
An annual flower with square stems and stalkless leaves. The leaves are roughly spoon-shaped, measuring up to 6 inches (15cm) long. The leaves are hairless or almost hairless.
Other Names:
Corn Salad, European Cornsalad, Keeled Cornsalad, Keeled Valerian.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Valerianella carinata is a species of flowering plant in the family Valerianaceae, native to Europe, Asia and North Africa. It is a small annual plant with pink or white flowers, and is also known by the common names keeled corn salad and keeled valerian. The leaves of Valerianella carinata are edible and have a slightly bitter taste. They are often used in salads and as a garnish, and are also sometimes used in herbal medicine.


Keeled-fruited Cornsalad, also known as Valerianella carinata, is a plant species belonging to the Valerianaceae family. It is a hardy plant and can be found growing in various regions of the world, including Europe, Asia, and Africa. In this blog, we will take a closer look at Keeled-fruited Cornsalad, including its characteristics, uses, and cultivation.

Characteristics of Keeled-fruited Cornsalad

Keeled-fruited Cornsalad is a herbaceous annual plant that grows to a height of up to 20 cm. It has a rosette of leaves at the base, which are dark green, pinnately lobed and have a slightly glossy texture. The leaves have a mild, nutty flavor that is similar to that of lettuce. The plant produces small, white or pale yellow flowers that are arranged in clusters and bloom from spring to summer.

Uses of Keeled-fruited Cornsalad

Keeled-fruited Cornsalad has been used as a food source for centuries, especially in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. The leaves and stems of the plant are edible and can be consumed raw in salads or cooked as a vegetable dish. The leaves have a delicate, nutty flavor and are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, calcium, and iron.

In addition to being used as a food source, Keeled-fruited Cornsalad has also been used for medicinal purposes. The plant has been used to treat digestive problems, insomnia, and anxiety. The leaves have also been used to make a poultice to soothe wounds and insect bites.

Cultivation of Keeled-fruited Cornsalad

Keeled-fruited Cornsalad is a hardy plant that can be easily grown in a variety of soils and climates. It is best grown in well-drained soil in a sunny or partially shaded location. The plant prefers cool temperatures and does not do well in hot, dry conditions.

To grow Keeled-fruited Cornsalad, seeds can be sown directly in the ground in early spring. The seeds should be spaced about 15 cm apart and should be covered with a light layer of soil. Once the plants have germinated, they should be thinned to a spacing of about 30 cm. Keeled-fruited Cornsalad is a low maintenance plant that requires minimal watering and fertilizer.

In conclusion, Keeled-fruited Cornsalad is a versatile plant that is valued for its nutty flavor and medicinal properties. It is easy to grow and can be a valuable addition to any garden. Whether used as a food source or for its medicinal properties, Keeled-fruited Cornsalad is a plant that is definitely worth trying.

Harvesting Keeled-fruited Cornsalad

Keeled-fruited Cornsalad is usually ready for harvest about 2-3 months after planting. The leaves and stems can be harvested as needed, starting with the outermost leaves and working inward. It is best to harvest the leaves when they are young and tender, as older leaves can become tough and bitter.

The entire plant can be harvested at once when it has reached maturity, or it can be harvested repeatedly over a period of several weeks. After harvesting, the leaves should be washed thoroughly and used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Pests and Diseases

Keeled-fruited Cornsalad is a relatively hardy plant that is resistant to most pests and diseases. However, it can be affected by a few common problems, including aphids, slugs, and downy mildew. To prevent these issues, it is important to keep the plant healthy and to provide adequate air circulation to prevent moisture buildup.

In the case of aphids, regular monitoring and hand-picking can be effective in controlling the problem. Slugs can be controlled by removing their hiding places and by using slug bait. Downy mildew can be prevented by providing adequate air circulation and avoiding overhead watering.

Keeled-fruited Cornsalad is a valuable plant with a long history of use in various cultures. It is easy to grow, low maintenance, and versatile in the kitchen. Whether you are looking for a new ingredient for your salads or a natural remedy for digestive problems, Keeled-fruited Cornsalad is definitely worth trying. With its mild flavor, nutritious value, and numerous health benefits, this plant is a valuable addition to any garden or kitchen.

Cooking with Keeled-fruited Cornsalad

Keeled-fruited Cornsalad is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. Its mild, nutty flavor makes it a great addition to salads, and it can be used as a substitute for lettuce or spinach. The leaves can be chopped and added to sandwiches, wraps, and tacos for a fresh, crunchy texture.

In Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, Keeled-fruited Cornsalad is often cooked as a vegetable dish. The leaves can be sautéed with garlic, olive oil, and lemon for a simple and delicious side dish. They can also be used as a base for dips and spreads, such as hummus or tahini.

Another popular use for Keeled-fruited Cornsalad is in soups and stews. The leaves add a mild, nutty flavor and a tender texture to these dishes. They can also be used as a garnish or added to casseroles and stir-fries for extra nutrition and flavor.

Nutritional Benefits

In addition to its delicious flavor, Keeled-fruited Cornsalad is also a nutritious food. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, calcium, and iron. The leaves are also low in calories and fat, making them a healthy addition to any diet.

Research has also shown that Keeled-fruited Cornsalad has several potential health benefits. The plant contains compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Additionally, it has been used for centuries as a digestive aid and to treat insomnia and anxiety.

Overall, Keeled-fruited Cornsalad is a nutritious and delicious plant that is well worth incorporating into your diet. Whether eaten raw or cooked, it is a great way to add flavor and nutrition to your meals.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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