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Carum carvi (photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia)
Carum carvi (photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia)

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Zone
Zones 1-24, 26, 28-45
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Carum carvi

Caraway
Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
Annuals, Herbs

The pungent seeds of this mounding, carrotlike plant flavor vegetables, pickles, and baked goods. From the meadows of Asia Minor, it grows 1–2 ft. in the first year; in the second spring, umbrellalike clusters of white flowers rise above the foliage; they go to seed in summer, and the plant dies. Start seeds in place (the taproot precludes transplant) in fall or early spring; thin seedlings to 18 in. apart. Demands well-drained soil.

Caraway seeds are used in rye breads. Leaves and shoots can flavor salads; roots can be shaved like carrots or parsnips and dropped into soups. But since the plant is a biennial (it flowers and produces seed in its second year), you’ll need to dedicate a patch of ground to it, or plant it in a pot.

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