Herb: Chop-Suey Greens


Latin name: Chrysanthemum coronarium spatiosum


Family: Compositae



Medicinal use of Chop-Suey Greens:

The leaves are expectorant and stomachic. In conjunction with black pepper it is used in the treatment of gonorrhoea. The flowers are aromatic, bitter and stomachic. They are used as a substitute for camomile (Chamaemelum nobile). The bark is purgative, it is used in the treatment of syphilis.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Annual


Height:
120 cm
(4 feet)

Flovering:
July to
September

Habitat of the herb:

Cultivated ground and waste places.

Edible parts of Chop-Suey Greens:

Young shoots and stems - raw or cooked. Strongly aromatic, they are used as a flavouring or as a vegetable. Cooked leaves become bitter if overcooked at a high temperature. Young leaves are excellent in salads. The leaves quickly wilt once they have been picked so it is best to harvest them as required. They contain about 1.85% protein, 0.43% fat, 2.57% carbohydrate, 0.98% ash. They are rich in vitamin B1, contain a moderate content of vitamin C and a little vitamin A. Flowers - raw. Blanched briefly and added to salads. The centre of the flower is bitter so only the petals are normally used. A fragrant pickle known as "kikumi" is made from the petals in Japan.

Other uses of the herb:

Possibly a good companion plant, protecting neighbouring plants from caterpillars etc. There is a report that secretions from the roots can be effective in controlling nematodes in the soil, but this has not been substantiated.

Propagation of Chop-Suey Greens:

Seed - surface-sow in spring to early autumn in situ. The seed usually germinates within 10 - 18 days at 15C. Successional sowings can be made at intervals of a few weeks in order to ensure a constant supply of young plants. Autumn sowings succeed in mild areas. An autumn sowing under cover will often supply leaves all winter.

Cultivation of the herb:

Cultivated ground and waste places.

Known hazards of Chrysanthemum coronarium spatiosum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.