Delete
Astydamia latifolia. Wikimedia
Recommended for your garden in the south of Spain: Astydamia latifolia
Gardening

Recommended for your garden in the south of Spain: Astydamia latifolia

Native to the Canary Islands and the coast of North Africa, Astydamia latifolia, commonly called Canary sea fennel, Canary samphire and sea lettuce, is a herbaceous perennial and member of the Apiaceae (carrot/celery ) family

Denise Bush

Malaga

Friday, 8 March 2024

Compartir

Plant of the month for March at La Concepción botanical gardens in Malaga is this amazing perennial, Astydamia latifolia. Native to the Canary Islands and the coast of North Africa, Astydamia latifolia, commonly called Canary sea fennel, Canary samphire and sea lettuce, is a herbaceous perennial and member of the Apiaceae (carrot/celery ) family. It is the only species in the genus Astydamia.

Its fleshy, pinnate, light-green leaves have wide lobes with a waxy surface which makes them resilient to salt spray. Its flowers are yellow and form in umbels up to 12cm across and attract bees and other pollinating insects. Once mature Astydamia can reach up to 40cm high.

In the wild, it is found growing in sand or on rocks in coastal areas and will grow in very poor soils provided it has good drainage.

Once established, Canary samphire is drought resistant but will benefit from occasional watering during the summer. In the winter months watering should be reduced considerably and the soil should be kept dry.

The leaves are high in potassium and can be eaten raw in salads. Traditionally they were used in times of food shortage. The whole plant was also used medicinally to make infusions to treat digestive problems, regulate menstruation, help sleep and as a diuretic.

Tests have shown that chemicals in the plant have similar attributes to the drug Furosemide which is used to remove extra fluid from the body and reduce high blood pressure.

Astydamia latifolia can develop large tubers, up to 7cm in diameter once fully grown, and these help it to overcome extended periods of drought.

The genus is named after Astydamia, the nymph daughter of the Greek god Oceanus. The specific epithet, latifolia, comes from Latin 'latus' which means 'wide leaves'.

Reporta un error en esta noticia

* Campos obligatorios