The nigella flower is a small annual plant that offers an aerial flowering, very refined, and decorative foliage. The best known is the nigella from Damascus, commonly recognized as «nigella damascena.» It has star-shaped flowers, often blue, pink, or white. You can pick the flowers to compose beautiful bouquets and even make dry bouquets with the fruit. The nigella is also known for its edible seeds.
Not very demanding and requiring almost no maintenance, nigella is among the most natural plants to grow. It likes draining and light soil, even if it is low in organic matter. It appreciates being planted in the sun or under light shade. The flower is not sensitive to diseases and easy to multiply it by sowing. It also tends to resow spontaneously in the garden. It does not suffocate other plants, but does wonders in the beds!
The nigella blooms in summer, usually between June and July-August, sometimes until September.
Discover the following points:
* Botanical Description
* Main Features
* Where to Plant the Damascus Nigella?
* Care and Maintenance
* Medicinal Properties
The nigella includes about 20 species of annual plants originating from Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It grows in France in the wild, along with a few other species of nigella. You can find the flower in fields, wastelands, roadsides, and rocky terrain.
The nigella’s name comes from the Latin niger: black, in allusion to the color of its seeds. In French, they call it the «hair of Venus,» due to the fineness of its foliage, feathery and divided into linear segments. In English, the nigella is named «devil in the bush.»
The nigella belongs to the ranunculus family, the renonculataceae. It is a large family, gathering more than 2,000 species of plants, mostly herbaceous, often toxic. Helleborus, wolfsbane, columbines, clematis, delphiniums, and anemones belong to this family. Flowering can be earlier or later, depending on when you carry out the seed.
The nigella has flowers in soft, pastel shades. They are often light blue, sometimes almost red, or purple-violet. For example, the varieties «Persian Rose» and «Mulberryrose» have beautiful pink flowers. The oriental nigella stands out with its yellow flowers! There are also seed mixtures that give a variety of flowers in many tones. The nigella often has a lovely shade of color, which can range from flower to flower. Also, the color of the same flower often changes slightly over time.
For example, the flowers of the «Mulberryrose» variety are first soft pink when they bloom, and then turn pinker. In «Dwarf Moody Blue» they are purple-mauve, evolving to a blue hue. Sometimes the flowers offer a beautiful contrast between the sepals, which are often white or light blue, and the pistils/stamina, which can be very dark, black, or burgundy.
The nigella has gorgeous star-shaped flowers, usually solitary and borne at the end of the stems. They measure between three and five centimeters in diameter. They are composed of five to 25 petaloid sepals (which have the shape of petals), colored. They surround five to 10 often smaller leaves and sometimes carry the nectar consumed by insects.
The nigella flowers are hermaphroditic: each has male (stamens) and female (pistils) organs. Thus, in the center of the flower, there are five to 10 pistils gathered and erect, surrounded by a large number of stamens. They are usually very decorative, bringing more refinement to the flower.
Some nigellas are distinguished by very different flowering styles, such as nigella «Blue Stars,» which has small five-petalled blue-violet flowers with many stamens in the center.
Where to Plant the Damascus Nigella?
Plant the nigella directly in the ground, in the sun or a lightly shaded situation. Under too much shade, the flowering may be less abundant. The nigella appreciates fertile soils and can be content with poor soils. It is a relatively undemanding plant that can grow in any soil. It can be more plentiful in soils rich in organic matter but is likely to develop more foliage. Nigella prefers neutral pH soils.
The Damascus nigella likes draining substrates, where water infiltrates quickly. It grows very well in sandy soils. If the soil in your garden is dense, compact, and retains water, we advise you to bring draining materials: pozzolana, gravel or coarse sand. The nigella is a natural plant, which is content with little: it is perfect for occupying areas of the garden where the soil is poor and dry, rocky. You can sow it in the most difficult corners in your garden.
Care and Maintenance
The Damascus nigella does not need any maintenance, apart from possible watering in case of high heat and some weeding. Those grown in pots can require more frequent watering than those grown in the ground, as the substrate dries faster.
We advise you to remove the faded flowers, not to prune them, to take advantage of the decorative capsules that can form, and allow the plant to make seeds. You have the choice to let it resow itself, or to collect seeds to make your sowings or to offer some.
Don’t hesitate to harvest the nigella flowers to make bouquets! The chances are that cutting them can slightly prolong the flowering period; however, this can prevent you from enjoying the decorative capsules. The nigella is not susceptible to disease. It doesn’t need treatment. The only problem could come from slugs and snails, which sometimes eat the young shoots.
Nigella, also known as black cumin, is an aromatic plant of the buttercup family. The black seeds, to which it owes its name, are edible. Often used in cooking as a spice, it also has many medicinal virtues, more or less known. It cleanses the body of toxins, stimulates cell regeneration, strengthens the immune system, and destroys bacteria.
It provides an excellent dietary supplement dedicated to physical balance. Besides, there are numerous curative properties: digestive, diuretic, stimulant, antioxidant, galactogen (it activates milk secretion in breastfeeding women), analgesic, and anti-allergic. It stimulates the immune system, lowers bad cholesterol, and prevents high blood pressure.
The plant has anti-inflammatory and calming virtue of the essential oil. It reduces headaches, dizziness, and joint pain with local applications or massage. Additionally, it treats colds, dental pain (with mouthwashes), and skin problems (psoriasis, acne, eczema, burns).
The nigella has a beautiful star-shaped bloom, often blue, but also white or pink. Also, we appreciate its unusual, vaporous, and light foliage. The nigella is a small plant with a very natural appearance and a lot of charm! Very easy to sow and grow, it blossoms almost everywhere and requires practically no maintenance. It reseeds spontaneously in the garden.