Carum carvi, aromatic and medicinal plant

Carum carvi also known as Caraway , Carvia, Prado Fennel, Roman Cumin, Alcarovea, Alchirivia, Alcorobea or Armenian Cumin. It belongs to the Umbelliferae family, being native to Europe, Western Asia and North Africa.

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Characteristics of Carum carvi

Biennial herbaceous plant that does not usually exceed 1 m in height. Stem striated, angular and generally branched from the base. The leaves are green, feathery, shiny, with a taste similar to parsley. The flowers in umbels, white with a hint of pink. The fruits are ovoid, 3 to 6 mm, glabrous, compressed on the side, fragrant, aromatic when ripe. The seeds are oval, pointed, dark brown almost black. It blooms from late spring to early summer.

Caraway care

It grows in clay and calcareous soils, with good drainage. It occurs in cool mountainous areas of Europe, except in the Mediterranean region.

It is planted in the spring, especially from the pea company. Tolerates exposures to the sun and semi-shade.

Sowing can be done in the fall to early spring. It requires a certain depth and space between the seeds. Preferably, the soil should be fertilized before sowing.

Irrigation is very important in periods of drought. If the rainy seasons are really strong, it should not be watered excessively, as it can be fatal for the plant.

When harvesting it is possible to weed and incorporate nitrogen fertilizer, but it is not necessary if the land has a lot of nitrogen. In the second year, weeding and leaving 10 to 15 cm between each one, usually 80 g of seeds are required. The seeds are planted in rows 30 to 36 cm apart.

Germination takes place in 2 to 3 weeks.

They must be collected in the second year before they mature. The seeds are collected by having a brown color. It is important to carefully cut the stems at ground level and hang them to dry in the shade in a ventilated place.

Once dry, they are threshed to separate the seeds. They are then spread out on the ground to dry. It should be considered that drying must be thorough so that they are not moldy.


  • The oil has been used as a tonic for flatulence and indigestion.
  • The seeds are used as a condiment in foods and sweets.
  • The leaves are used in salads, puddings, soups and as an accompaniment to meats.
  • The stalks are eaten as asparagus in North Africa.
  • The fruits are part of cabbages, cheeses, sausages and liqueurs.

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