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Common Name: Galingale
Cyperus longus is a Evergreen Perennial up to 1.20 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Britain and the Mediterranean region north to Lake Geneva.
By water in ditches and marshy places[
Prefers a moist sandy loam[
]. Succeeds in any good garden soil so long as it does not dry out[
], it also grows well in up to 30cm of water[
Plants are hardy to about -15°c[
A very ornamental plant[
], though it can spread freely at the roots when well-suited[
Galingale was one of the favourite spices of the medieval kitchen and was an ingredient of 'pokerounce', a kind of medieval cinnamon toast[
]. It is rarely used at present. Both the root and the stem have a sweet moss-like perfume, resembling that of the violet but not so pure. The aroma becomes more fragrant with age[
Tuber - used as a spice in soups, pies and sweets[
The root is an aromatic tonic[
]. It was at one time considered to be a good stomachic and useful in the first stages of dropsy, but it has now fallen into disuse[
The leaves are used in basketry and for weaving hats, matting etc[
The root and stem have the scent of violets and are used in perfumery[
]. The aroma becomes more pronounced when the root has been dried and left to age[
A fibre obtained from the plant is used in paper making[
Seed - surface sow in the spring and keep the compost moist[
]. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 6 weeks at 18°c[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Grow on for their first winter in a greenhouse and plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts.
Division in spring or autumn. Division is simple at almost any time of the year, so long as the roots are not allowed to become dry. Plant them out straight into their permanent positions.