Also named Japanese crosne, the crosne (stachys affinis) is an amazing root vegetable from the lamiaceae family. It is mainly found in China. This herbaceous and perennial plant owes its French name to the first village in which it was cultivated in Essonne, from the end of the 19th century.
Appearance of the crosne
The crosne tubers, with their multiple bulges and blisters, are like a caterpillar, or a rosary. The plant rarely flowers in our latitudes, but when it does, we can observe small purple pink flowers.
Planting is done in early spring. Place three crosne tubers in a 20cm deep hole, spacing each hole about 40cm. Cover with fine earth and water abundantly. Thereafter watering is regular, avoiding the leaves. It is advisable to do some hoeing until September. Harvesting begins in November and lasts all winter as needed. Once torn off, the tuber does not keep well.
Maintenance and crosne diseases
The crosne can be planted close to the beet. However, avoid placing it close to the thyme. rustic, the crosne resists cool temperatures well, down to -15 °. It is little invaded by parasites, although slugs, aphids and white grubs may be of interest to it.
Use of the crosne
The edible tubers are cooked in sauce, as an accompaniment, as a gratin. They can also be macerated in vinegar. The taste of crosne can be reminiscent of hazelnut, artichoke, salsify or even Jerusalem artichoke. It is a dietetic vegetable, which contains mineral salts, proteins, betaine and a carbohydrate called stachyose. Find the crosne seeds in the shop!