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'Persian Broadleaf' Shahi (Garden Cress)

'Persian Broadleaf' Shahi (Garden Cress)

Regular price $4.00 Sale

Lepidium sativum

Origin: Iran

Improvement status: Cultivar

Seeds per packet: ~250

Germination tested 2/2024: 99%

Life cycle: Annual or Biennial

This cultivar of shahi or sahi, as garden cress is known in Persian, comes to us from our friends at Wild Garden Seeds, who say this about it: "Dark green strap-like leaves with tiny teeth around the margins, 2-6” long, with mild cressy flavor. Excellent last-minute addition to brothy soups, or to enliven sandwiches. A delicious and nutritious green, given to us by farmer Tom Denison of Corvallis, Oregon. Original Iranian seed is the parent stock for this popular cultivar."

Garden cress is a delightfully spicy green vegetable or herb whose seeds and seed oil are also used for culinary and medicinal purposes. The plant has many medicinal uses. It is commonly used in various parts of the world as an analgesic, antispasmodic, antidiarrheal, galactagogue, hepatoprotective, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic. It has even been demonstrated effective (in a rather grotesque study involving rats) at accelerating the healing of broken bones! The plant is a rich source of proteins, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, etc, and phytochemical studies of the plant have found tannins, flavonoids, glycosides, phenols, lectin, and mucilage.

GROWING TIPS: Garden cress grows incredibly fast, so it should direct-seeded a few weeks before you want to eat it. Succession sowing is wise, unless you're growing it for seed and want it all to go to seed at once. Seeds can be surface-sown in a well-prepared bed. They will begin sprouting within a few days, and will be harvestable within a few weeks. A few weeks after that they'll bolt.

NOTE: Photo shows immature garden cress seedlings, or sprouts, which are frequently consumed. It comes from user Tillwe under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.