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African native. The original source of an Egyptian confection that evolved into today’s marshmallows. The roots and velvety leaves have been eaten as a vegetable for centuries, often fried with onion and garlic. 3-4 foot stems of 1-2 inch, white-to-pink flowers are reminiscent of hollyhocks, to which this plant is related. Also renowned in various folk cultures for its medicinal properties.
Growing Tips: Cold-stratify 4-6 weeks, grow indoors, and set transplants out after frost. Or direct seed in late winter, very early spring. Harvest roots starting second year from planting.
Images and description courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds/ RareSeeds.com