Gardening

Chondrilla juncea is a great option if you want a plant that is easy to propagate.

Chondrilla juncea also known as Ajonjera, Yuyo skeleton, Talleras, Ajonjera juncal, Agujera, Legitimate resinous Chicoria, Baleas, Lecherina, Escobilla or Sweet Chicory . It belongs to the Asteraceae family and is native to Europe, North Africa and temperate Asia.

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The scientific name comes from the Greek Chondros meaning knot or cartilage, due to the shape of its roots caused by an insect (when they metamorphose, they accumulate latex, coagulating the roots).

Characteristics of the Chondrilla juncea

Perennial or biennial plant that can grow up to 1.30 m tall.

The stem is solitary, straight, long and angular.

The branches have a milky juice and are covered with stiff brown hairs on the underside.

Shoots are produced in daughter rosettes that form on top of the primary root.

The leaves are lanceolate, with widely toothed edges, of little consistency and with some thorns.

The lower stem leaves are lanceolate and regularly toothed, with winged petioles and generally small.

The flowers are numerous (with 9 to 12 flowers), yellow in color. Flowering is in the summer.

The fruits are achenes, with a thin bill, murcate distally and on the upper part it has a crown or vilano. The seeds are at the end of a vilano that facilitates their dispersion thanks to the wind.

Chondrilla juncea care

It grows in vacant areas, lindazos and fallows.

It is a plant  that needs to be in full sun with ambient humidity.

As for the soil, it must be stony, open, dry and well drained.

Irrigation must be moderate without puddles for it to thrive effectively.

Applications

  • It is used as an aperitif and tempering agent.
  • The young leaves are used for the preparation of salads, as a garnish, as well as boiled or fried.
  • As for the stem, it is used similarly to asparagus.
  • From the root a rubber or latex also called Ajonje is extracted, which is used as rubber bands to catch birds.
  • The stems are used to make brooms.

And although little is known about it, there are many uses for it. Now that if you know more about this specimen, do not hesitate to tell us for more information.

Images courtesy of: Peter Stevens , Harri Rose

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