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Common Name: Rocket Candytuft
Iberis amara is an annual plant that can grow up to 0.30 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Western and southern Europe, including Britain, to N. Africa.
Dry calcareous soils on hillsides and in cornfields[
Easily grown in a good, well-drained ordinary garden soil in a sunny position[
]. Prefers a calcareous soil but tolerates mildly acid soils[
]. Succeeds in poor soils[
] and on dry walls[
A very ornamental plant[
]. A fast growing plant[
], do not grow the plants too close together[
The flowers are sweetly scented[
The seeds are sometimes used as a source of mustard[
]. Pungency of mustard develops when cold water is added to the ground-up seed - an enzyme (myrosin) acts on a glycoside (sinigrin) to produce a sulphur compound. The reaction takes 10 - 15 minutes. Mixing with hot water or vinegar, or adding salt, inhibits the enzyme and produces a mild bitter mustard[
Little used in modern herbalism, rocket candytuft is a bitter-tasting tonic, aiding digestion and relieving wind and bloating[
]. It is traditionally taken to treat gout, rheumatism and arthritis[
All parts of the plant are antirheumatic and antiscorbutic[
]. The seeds are considered very useful in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and dropsy[
]. The plant is gathered in the summer and can be dried for later use[
]. The seeds are harvested when fully ripe[
A common homeopathic remedy is made from the seeds[
Seed - sow spring in situ for summer flowering or late summer in situ for a spring flowering[
]. The seed germinates within 3 weeks.