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Eminium spiculatum is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.25 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Many plants in this family are poisonous raw, due to the presence of calcium oxylate crystals. If eaten raw, this toxin gives you a sensation as if hundreds of tiny needles are sticking into the mouth, tongue etc. However, it is easily destroyed by thoroughly cooking or drying the plant. Although no specific mention has been seen for this plant it is wise to assume that it is poisonous in its raw state.
S. Europe - Mediterranean to W. Asia.
Dry rocky places[
Requires a deep light fertile perfectly drained soil in a sunny position[
]. Strongly dislikes wet soils, it also need a period of warm dry weather when it is dormant in late summer in order to promote good flowering the following year[
This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c so long as the soil is well-drained[
]. It is usually best grown in a bulb frame or cold greenhouse, but can succeed outdoors at the base of a south-facing wall and also in a rock garden in dry summer areas.
The flowers are malodorous, attracting flies for pollination[
]. The fruit is developed at the base of the flowering stem, usually below ground, breaking the soil surface to disperse the seed[
Root - cooked. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe, though the seed can also be sown in early spring. Prick out the young seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter, planting out in late summer when the plants are dormant[
Division in late summer when the plants are dormant[