Rich in vitamin C, this is a well sailed plant known not only to the Vikings. This biennial perennial reaches 12 inches tall and grows along coastal areas and in salt marshes. It is used as a citrus substitute. Leaves are heart or spoon shaped, typically dark green, grow from the base of the plant in a rosette, surrounding a flowering stem that grows during the summer months. Flowers clusters are typically white but are sometimes tinged with purple, around Â½â to 1â across. Zone 1-7.
Its popularity comes from the 19th century, when it was taken aboard ships as a preventative for vitamin C deficiency before citrus fruits were readily available. In the 1850's spoonwort extract was a fashionable breakfast drink, much like orange juice today. A few smaller leaves or the flower heads mixed in a salad, served on Fish and Oysters, a little chopped into a stir-fry, crushed and blended into dressings, the seed pods used like capers or pickled as a side. It can be dried or distilled for extracts.
Spoonwort was also used for gout, arthritis, stomachache, and fluid retention and as a âblood purifier.â A potent medicinal herb with many benefits.