20160411_125048This picture was taken when discovered in Phoenix Charter School’s garden, April 11th, 2016, next to the raspberry patch. No one really knew exactly what it was but thought it was pretty.

Because we didn’t know, I willingly spent my weekend searching for hours for the name. Eventually I looked under “Purple flowers” and scrolled through the images until I found it. At first I was getting foreign languages with the pictures, but after I went through filters after filters, I found it under English. My mom was helping me search for it. I found the name Nigella damascena and my mom found the common name Persian jewels.

This flower was and probably still is very popular in the English flower beds. Their colors vary between, pink, blue, purple, white, and light burgundy. It has many names to it such as, “Love-in-the-mist” or “Devil-in-a-bush”. It loves growing in direct sunlight in mid-wet climates. They are easy starters and are not high maintenance. The can be composted. They are not  necessarily edible but they have a cousin called the Nigella sativa.

The Nigella sativa seeds are known to taste like a combination of onion, black pepper, and oregano. Which are used to flavor curries, vegetables, and pulses. They are even used in American string cheese and in bread- particularly Naan bread. In 2010, Nestlé filed a patent application for use of extracted thymoquinone from Nigella sativa as a food allergy treatment. Basically saying that the patent would “cover the specific way that thymoquinone interacts with opioid receptors in the body and helps to reduce allergic reactions to food”

No one really knows who planted it in the garden because it isn’t native in America meaning it was intentionally planted. They’re from Eastern Asia who used it to season their goods and/or make the garden have people baffled when they walk by. It’s awesome that it is growing here in our garden and very lovely.