Herb: Tartar Bread Plant

Latin name: Crambe tatarica

Synonyms: Crambe aspera, Crambe litwinowi

Family: Cruciferae

Edible parts of Tartar Bread 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.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

Habitat of the herb:

Bushy and grassy places, it is also found on chalky slopes.

Propagation of Tartar Bread Plant:

Seed - sow March/April 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 15C. 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.

Cultivation of the herb:

Bushy and grassy places, it is also found on chalky slopes.

Medicinal use of Tartar Bread Plant:

None known

Known hazards of Crambe tatarica:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.