Fennel Flower

(Nigella sativa, Linn.), an Asiatic annual, belonging to

the Ranunculaceae, grown to a limited extent in southern Europe, but

scarcely known in America. Among the Romans it was esteemed in cookery,

hence one of its common names, Roman coriander. The plant has a rather

stiff, erect, branching stem, bears deeply cut grayish-green leaves and

terminal grayish-blue flowers, which precede odd, toothed, seed vessels

filled with small, triangular, black, highly aromatic seeds. For garden

use the seed is sown in spring after the ground gets warm. The drills

may be 15 to 18 inches apart and the plants thinned to 10 or 12 inches

asunder. No special attention is necessary until midsummer, when the

seed ripens. These are easily threshed and cleaned. After drying they

should be stored in sacks in a cool, dry place. They are used just as

they are or like dill in cookery.