Carum bulbocastanum Koch
Carum persicum Boiss.
Common Name: Black Caraway
Bunium persicum is an erect, herbaceous perennial plant growing from underground tubers; it produces one or more stems that branch from the middle, growing from 40 - 60cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of an essential oil. It is occasionally cultivated for its edible seeds, which are used as a cumin-like flavouring[
South-eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Siberia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan northwestern India
Gentle exposed mountain slopes in C. Asia[
]. Dry scrubby slopes in the Himalayas[
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A native of the temperate to subtropical zones, the plant can be grown as an annual in more tropical areas.
The plant is likely to prefer a well-drained light to medium soil in sun or light shade.
Root - raw or cooked[
]. Tastes like sweet chestnuts.
Seed - used as a flavouring[
], a cumin substitute. Highly valued as a spice in Pakistan where it is often preferred to cumin as an ingredient in curries because of its stronger flavour[
]. A more complex flavour than cumin[
The essential oil of the fruits is widely used for seasoning pickles, meat sauce[
The seeds are carminative and diuretic[
An essential oil from the seeds is used to make candles aromatic[
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in spring or autumn.