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Common Name: Pignut
Conopodium majus is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.30 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Europe, including Britain, from Norway to Spain, east to Italy and Corsica.
Woods, hedgerows and fields. It is never found on alkaline soils[
Never found on alkaline soils in the wild[
]. See the plants native habitat for other ideas on its cultivation needs.
This species responds to cultivation by producing larger tubers[
]. With careful selective breeding it is probably possible to produce a much more productive plant[
Tubers - raw or cooked[
]. A very pleasant food with a flavour somewhat between a sweet potato and hazelnuts, with a hot aftertaste of radish[
]. We have never detected this hot aftertaste, and feel that the flavour is reminiscent of brazil nuts[
]. There is only one tuber on each plant, this is rather small and difficult to harvest, but the size could probably be increased by cultivation[
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually quick and good[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out when in early summer.
It is also possible to sow in situ, though this requires a lot more seed to produce the same amount of plants from a protected sowing.
Division in late summer as the plant dies down.