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Jerusalem-Oak Goosefoot
Jerusalem-Oak Goosefoot
Jerusalem-Oak Goosefoot
Jerusalem-Oak Goosefoot
Jerusalem-Oak Goosefoot

Jerusalem-Oak Goosefoot

Regular price $3.75 Sale

Dysphania botrys

Origin: Poznan, Poland

Improvement status: Landrace

Seeds per packet: ~65

Germination tested 1/2024: 50%

Life cycle: Annual

Also called "stock cube plant" for its savory flavor evoking bouillon cubes, Jerusalem-oak goosefoot is a Eurasian cousin of the famously aromatic Mexican herb epazote (Dysphania ambrosioides). A member of the Amaranth family, it was formerly placed in the Chenopodium genus alongside quinoa and lamb's quarters, to which it bears some clear similarities. Its tiny seeds are also edible (after soaking and rinsing to remove saponins). This plant is best used sparingly, as there are some indications it may be toxic in high doses. There are reports of it being eaten as a vegetable, but we think it's mostly used as a flavoring. The "stock cube" flavor has echoes of cilantro or coriander, but it is quite distinct. This is an annual plant native from central Europe and the Mediterranean east to Xinjiang (western China). It has naturalized across North America already, but it is not considered a particularly troublesome invasive because it mostly inhabits dry disturbed soil, roadsides, railroads, gravel pits, and other waste areas. It has a long history of medicinal use against asthma, catarrh, and parasitic worms. The dried plant is a moth repellent, and it can also be used to obtain gold and green dyes.

Our stock seed came from the USDA's National Plant Germplasm System, which originally received the seeds in 1996 from the German seed bank at Gatersleben. The accession can only be traced as far back as the medicinal plant garden at the Hortus Botanicus, Instituti Plantarum Medicinal, in Poznan, Poland. We grew out our seeds in collaboration with our friends at The Seed Farm at Princeton University.

GROWING TIPS: Surface sow in flats a couple weeks before last frost. Plant seedlings a foot apart from each other. Tall plants may need staking. Can be slow to germinate. Be patient.