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November 2012
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Brassica Nigra (black mustard) is an annual weedy plant cultivated for its seeds.

Images of Brassica nigra (black mustard) at

Brassica Nigra (black mustard) is an annual weedy plant cultivated for its seeds.

Overview of Brassica nigra (black mustard)

• This is commonly used as a spice.
• The plant is believed to be native to the southern Mediterranean region of Europe.
• It has been cultivated for thousands of years.
• The spice is generally made from ground seeds of the plant, with the seed coats removed.
• The small (1 mm) seeds are hard and vary in color from dark brown to black.
• They are flavorful.
• They have almost no aroma.
• The seeds are commonly used in Indian cuisine.
• The seeds are usually thrown into hot oil or ghee, after which they pop, releasing a characteristic nutty flavor.
• The seeds have a significant amount of fatty oil.
• This oil is used often as cooking oil in India.
• In Ethiopia, it is cultivated as a vegetable in Gondar, Harar and Shewa.
• The shoots and leaves are consumed cooked and the seeds used as a spice.
• Its Amharic name is senafitch.
• The plant itself can grow from two to eight feet tall.
• They bear small yellow flowers.
• The leaves are covered in small hairs.
• Black mustard plants are grown for both their edible leaves and seeds, which are slightly stronger and spicier than brown mustard seeds.

Growing/Caring conditions for Brassica nigra (black mustard)

• Black mustard plants (Brassica nigra) are native to the coastal regions of the Mediterranean Sea in southern Europe.
• You can grow black mustard plants in your garden in the cooler springtime months.
• Plant your black mustard plants in early spring, right after the last frost.
• Select a planting site that receives full to partial sunlight.
• The plant should have rich and fertile soil.
• Dig planting holes that are the same depth as and twice the width of the nursery containers.
• Work into the soil some rich, organic compost.
• Space your black mustard plants about 6 inches apart.
• After planting black mustard seeds, cover them loosely with 1/2 inch of soil.
• Plant the black mustard plants at the same depth as they were planted in the nursery containers.
• Water your black mustard plants lightly every other day.
• This is to keep the soil evenly moistened.
• Water directly onto the soil and avoid getting water on the plant leaves.
• Feed your black mustard plants once every two weeks with a liquid all-purpose plant fertilizer.
• You can also top-dress the soil around the plants every two weeks with 1 or 2 inches of organic compost.

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