Carum carvi L.
Carum carvi, commonly known as caraway, belongs to the group of annual and biennial plants.
Carum carvi was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name is considered as validly published.
The plants are comparatively fast-growing and reach heights of 40 to 60 centimetres. The plants reach a width of 10 to 30 centimetres.
Carum carvi is deciduous. The green, bipinnate leaves are alternate. The leaflets are lanceolate and have entire margins. The surface of the leaves is glabrous. They turn an attractive yellow in autumn.
Flowers and Fruits
Carum carvi produces compound umbels of white five-stellate flowers from May to June. The plants are hermaphroditic.
The plants produce brown achenes from summer to autumn.
Carum carvi is native to the whole of Europe with the exception of the British Isles, Turkey, the Caucasus, northern Iran, West-Siberia, East Siberia, the Kamtschatka Peninsula, Central Asia, Mongolia, Afghanistan, the Himalaya, China and Northwest Africa and is naturalized in North America and New Zealand.
The plants prefer a sunny situation on fresh to moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy or gritty-loamy soil with a pH between 6,5 and 7,5. They tolerate temperatures down to -40Â°C (USDA zone 3).
Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber
- open areas
- woodland borders (soil usually rich in humus)
The recommended planting distance is 40 centimetres, the plants are best planted in groups of 3 to 5. Suited for cottage gardens, as well as suited as container plant and as bee pasture.
Maintenance and Propagation
- Some seedheads should remain on the plant for species preservation.
- Cut back after flowering to prevent self-seeding.
Pests and Diseases
- Walter Erhardt, Erich GÃ¶tz, Nils BÃ¶deker, Siegmund Seybold: Der groÃe Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
- Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.