Nigella ‘Black Cumin’


Nigella, also known as Black Cumin, is an annual, flowering plant native to Asia and the Middle East.

Its wispy, elegant, blue flowers look stunning in any garden or balcony arrangement; if you can resist picking the delicate blooms, the seed pods that develop from the flowers are equally glorious. In fact, the seeds are the edible part of the plant and are widely used in Indian, Middle Eastern and Slavic cooking for their strong aroma and spicy taste.

If you ever enjoyed Turkish bread and wondered what the tasty little black seed on top of it was—it’s Nigella Black Cumin. It’s hard to believe that such a delicate little flower packs such a flavourful punch, indispensable in Indian and Asian cuisine.

Common name Nigella
Latin name Nigella sativa
Variety Black cumin
Quantity 100 seeds
Plant size Height: 30 cm
Width: 20 cm
Container size Height: 30 cm
Width: 20 cm
Companion plant(s) Strawberries, carrots, calendula, nasturtium, borage
Planting outdoors Apr to Sep
Germination 10 to 15 days
Harvesting 80 to 100 days
Planting 3 cm to 5 cm apart at 0.5cm depth
Thinning 20 cm to 30 cm
Light Full sun
Soil Well-drained, fertile and moist
Watering Regular, moderate watering
Feeding Light feeding
Caring Taking care of Nigella is simple: water during dry times, feed regularly and deadhead spent blooms to encourage the growth of more flowers or collect seeds from dried seedpods.
Beneficial wildlife Attracts bees and butterflies.
Pests Repels the carrot fly.
Harvesting Nigella seeds can be harvested in late summer and stored for use throughout the year. Ensure that the black seeds are completely dry, then store them in an airtight container.
Eating Medicinal properties: Among many of its health benefits, there is also a belief that eating the seed will make a woman's breasts plumper.

How to eat: Black Cumin seeds, also known as kalonji in Hindi, have an oregano-like quality with herbaceous notes, a slight bitterness and a warm, toasted-onion flavour. Each country has a peculiar traditional recipe for it: naan bread in India, string cheese in the Middle East, preserved lemons in Morocco, to name but a few.

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