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Common Name: Tartar Bread Plant
Crambe tatarica is a perennial plant that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
E. Europe to W. Asia.
Bushy and grassy places[
], it is also found on chalky slopes[
An easily grown plant, succeeding in a good loam and an open sunny position[
]. Prefers a slightly alkaline soil in a position sheltered from strong winds[
]. Tolerates poor soil and some shade[
]. Dislikes acid soils[
A deep-rooted plant[
], it dislikes root disturbance[
This is an aggregate species[
]. There is some confusion over the correct spelling of this species name, it is written as C. tataria in some books[
Plants can be grown in the summer meadow if the grass is not cut too low (since this would damage the growing point)[
]. A good bee plant[
Leaves and young stems- raw or cooked[
]. Usually blanched in much the same way as seakale (C. maritima)[
Root - raw or cooked[
]. The root, which can be as thick as a person's arm, is fleshy and sweet[
]. It can be used raw in salads, or be cooked as a vegetable[
]. It can be dried and ground into a powder, then mixed with cereal flours when making bread[
]. The root is rich in starch and sugars[
Seed - sow early to mid spring in a seedbed outdoors and either thin the plants out or move them to their permanent positions when about 10cm tall[
]. The young plants are very attractive to slugs so some protection will often be needed.
Germination can be slow so it is best to sow the seed in pots in a cold frame[
]. Germination usually takes place in 3 - 26 weeks at 15°c[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant out into their permanent positions when they are at least 10cm tall.
Division in spring or autumn[
]. Dig up the root clump and cut off as many sections as you require, making sure they all have at least one growing point. The larger of these divisions can be planted out straight into their permanent positions, though small ones are best potted up and grown on in a cold frame until they are established.
Root cuttings, 3 - 10 cm long, in spring[
]. These can be planted straight into the open ground or you can pot them up in the greenhouse and plant them out once they are growing strongly.