Corn salad

Corn salad
Corn Salad
Corn Salad close up
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Dipsacales
Family: Valerianaceae
Genus: Valerianella
Species: V. locusta
Binomial name
Valerianella locusta
Valerianella locusta line drawing showing its bolted state.

Corn salad (Valerianella locusta (Linnaeus) or Valerianella olitoria (Moench) - the synonym Valeriana is obsolete but appears frequently in older texts) [1] [2] is a small dicot annual plant of the family Valerianaceae. It is also called Lewiston cornsalad, lamb's lettuce, fetticus, field salad, mâche, feldsalat, nut lettuce and rapunzel. [3]



Corn salad leaves are often used to decorate dishes

Corn salad grows in a low rosette with spatulate leaves up to 15.2 cm long.[3] It is a hardy plant that grows to zone 5, and in mild climates it is grown as a winter green. In warm conditions it tends to bolt to seed.[4]

Corn salad grows wild in parts of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia.[5] In Europe and Asia it is a common weed in cultivated land and waste spaces. In North America it has escaped cultivation and become naturalized on both the eastern and western seaboards.[6]


Corn salad was originally foraged by European peasants until the royal gardener of King Louis XIV, de la Quintinie, introduced it to the world.[7] It has also been used as food in Britain for many centuries and appears in John Gerard's Herbal of 1597 but only became commercially available there in the 1980s. [8] It was grown commercially in London from the late 18th/early 19th century and appeared on markets as a winter vegetable. See 'Vegetables and their Culivation', Sanders, T. W. 1917. The common name corn salad refers to the fact that it often grows as a weed in wheat fields. [8]


Like other formerly foraged greens, corn salad has many nutrients, including three times as much vitamin C as lettuce, beta-carotene, B6, B9, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids. It is best if gathered before flowers appear.[2]


  1. ^ USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) [1]
  2. ^ a b Ed. David A. Bender (2005) Dictionary of Food and Nutrition, Oxford University Press
  3. ^ a b Floridata: Valerianella locusta
  4. ^ Plants for a Future: Valerianella locusta
  5. ^ United States Department of Agriculture: Germplasm Resources Information Network
  6. ^ United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service: Plants profile for Valerianella locusta
  7. ^ Organic Gardening Magazine, August-September 2007
  8. ^ a b Ed. John Ayto (2002) An A-Z of Food and Drink, Oxford University Press


This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 edition of The Grocer's Encyclopedia.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Corn salad — Corn Corn, n. [AS. corn; akin to OS. korn, D. koren, G., Dan., Sw., & Icel. korn, Goth. ka[ u]rn, L. granum, Russ. zerno. Cf. {Grain}, {Kernel}.] 1. A single seed of certain plants, as wheat, rye, barley, and maize; a grain. [1913 Webster] 2. The …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • corn-salad — cornˈ salad noun A plant of the genus Valerianella, esp V. locusta the common corn salad, sometimes used as salads and formerly called lamb s lettuce • • • Main Entry: ↑corn …   Useful english dictionary

  • corn salad — n. a European herb (Valerianella locusta) of the valerian family, often found in cornfields, with rose, blue, or white flowers and leaves that are used in salads …   English World dictionary

  • corn salad — any of several plants of the genus Valerianella, of the valerian family, esp. V. locusta (or V. olitoria), having small light blue flowers and tender, narrow leaves eaten in salads. Also called lamb s lettuce, mache. [1590 1600] * * * ▪ plant… …   Universalium

  • corn salad — noun a plant of the genus Valerianella • Hypernyms: ↑herb, ↑herbaceous plant • Hyponyms: ↑common corn salad, ↑lamb s lettuce, ↑Valerianella olitoria, ↑Valerianella locusta …   Useful english dictionary

  • corn salad — corn′ sal ad n. pln any of several plants of the genus Valerianella, of the valerian family, esp. V. locusta, having small light blue flowers and tender narrow leaves eaten in salads Also called mache …   From formal English to slang

  • corn salad — noun a) Any of various types of salad made using maize b) Valerianella locusta, a small plant used in salads and as an herb …   Wiktionary

  • corn salad — noun Etymology: from its occurrence as a weed in fields of grain Date: 1597 any of several herbs (genus Valerianella) of the valerian family; especially a low European herb (V. locusta syn. V. olitoria) that is widely cultivated for its leaves… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • corn salad — noun another term for lamb s lettuce …   English new terms dictionary

  • common corn salad — noun widely cultivated as a salad crop and pot herb; often a weed • Syn: ↑lamb s lettuce, ↑Valerianella olitoria, ↑Valerianella locusta • Hypernyms: ↑corn salad …   Useful english dictionary

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