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Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Ecology

Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / parasite
Golovinomyces orontii parasitises live Valerianella olitoria

Foodplant / feeds on
pycnidium of Phoma coelomycetous anamorph of Phoma valerianellae feeds on Valerianella olitoria

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Foodplant / pathogen
Acidovorax valerianellae infects and damages live, spotted leaf of Valerianella locusta
Remarks: captive: in captivity, culture, or experimentally induced

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / parasite
Golovinomyces orontii parasitises live Valerianella locusta

Foodplant / parasite
sporangium of Peronospora valerianellae parasitises live Valerianella locusta

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Valerianella locusta

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Valerianella locusta

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 9
Specimens with Barcodes: 9
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Wikipedia

Valerianella locusta

Valerianella locusta illustration by Thomé (1885) showing the plant, flower, and seed.

Valerianella locusta is a small dicot annual plant of the family Caprifoliaceae that is an edible leaf vegetable with a characteristic nutty flavor, dark green color, and soft texture, popularly served as salad greens.[2] Common names include corn salad[3] (or cornsalad), lamb's lettuce,[3] mâche,[3] fetticus,[3] feldsalat,[3] nut lettuce,[3] field salad, and rapunzel. In restaurants that feature French cooking, it may be called doucette or raiponce, as an alternative to mâche, by which it is best known.[4] In German-speaking Switzerland it is known as Nüsslisalat or Nüssli, terms that have been borrowed by the area's many English-speakers.

Description[edit]

Corn salad leaves are often used to decorate dishes

Corn salad, also known as mâche or lamb's lettuce, grows in a low rosette with spatulate leaves up to 15.2 cm long.[3] It is a hardy plant that grows to zone 5, and in mild climates it is grown as a winter green. In warm conditions it tends to bolt to seed.[5]

Corn salad grows wild in parts of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia.[6] In Europe and Asia it is a common weed in cultivated land and waste spaces. In North America it has escaped cultivation and become naturalized on both the eastern and western seaboards.[7]

As a cultivated crop, it is a specialty of the region around Nantes, France, which is the primary source for mâche in Europe.[8]

History[edit]

Corn salad was originally foraged by European peasants until Jean-Baptiste de La Quintinie, royal gardener of King Louis XIV, introduced it to the world.[9] It has been eaten in Britain for centuries and appears in John Gerard's Herbal of 1597.[10] It was grown commercially in London from the late 18th or early 19th century and appeared on markets as a winter vegetable, however, it only became commercially available there in the 1980s.[11] American president Thomas Jefferson cultivated mâche at his home, Monticello, in Virginia in the early 1800s.[8]

The common name corn salad refers to the fact that it often grows as a weed in wheat fields.[10] (The European term for staple grain is "corn".) The Brothers Grimm's tale Rapunzel may have taken its name from this plant, as the eponymous character is named for the "salad" which her father has come into the sorceress' garden to steal. 'Rapunzel' is one of the German terms for corn salad.

Nutrition[edit]

Like other formerly foraged greens, corn salad has many nutrients, including three times as much vitamin C as lettuce, beta-carotene, B6, iron, and potassium. It is best if gathered before flowers appear.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Plant List". 
  2. ^ Missouri Botanical Garden, Valerianella locusta
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Floridata: Valerianella locusta
  4. ^ Larousse Cuisine: Mâche
  5. ^ Plants for a Future: Valerianella locusta
  6. ^ United States Department of Agriculture: Germplasm Resources Information Network
  7. ^ United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service: Plants profile for Valerianella locusta
  8. ^ a b Epicroots, History of Mâche
  9. ^ Organic Gardening Magazine, August-September 2007
  10. ^ a b John Ayto, ed. (2002), An A-Z of Food and Drink, Oxford University Press
  11. ^ T. W. Sanders (1917), Vegetables and Their Cultivation, London: W. H. & L. Collingridge Limited
  12. ^ David A. Bender, ed. (2005), Dictionary of Food and Nutrition, Oxford University Press

Sources[edit]

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWard, Artemas (1911). The Grocer's Encyclopedia. 

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