FLORA OF ICELAND elements: Carum carvi, caraway

Carum carvi; Caraway grows in grasslands and around human settlements. It has been introduced on Iceland. It is a biannual plant, meaning it flowers after the first winter after which it dies. The seeds are used for their flavor, for example in cheeses but also in many other culinair recipies like patatoe salads. In other countries it is grown as a commercial crop, especially in coastal regions. It has a fair resistance towards salt sprays (sea winds containing salinated humidity elements). The seeds spread a chemical called carvon in the air. This compound inhibits the sprouting of potatoes during winter/early spring storage.
It is a member of the Carrot family (Apiaceae formerly known as Umbelliferae). The Icelandic name of this species is Kúmen.

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A brief introduction to Iceland plants
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk - unless stated otherwise

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