Sunday, July 08, 2007

Herbal Flowers #5

These cute little purple and white flowers belong to rice paddy herb (Limnophila aromatica) one of my favorite smelling herbs. Easily recognized by those familiar with Vietnamese cooking, it is unfamiliar to most of my customers. The scent is quite powerful, nearly identical to cumin, and I'm hoping to find a good recipe utilizing it. Anyone?

As the name indicates, it is native to southern Asia and grows in very wet areas. It is rated for zone 10. I was struck with the similarity between this herb and the water hyssops in our butterfly garden: similar flowers, long succulent stems, similar succulent leaves and watery habitat. Sure enough, they are in the same plant family, Plantaginaceae.

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