An Eco-sustainable World
HerbaceousSpecies Plant

Silaum silaus

Silaum silaus

The pepper-saxifrage (Silaum silaus (L.) Schinz & Thell.) is a herbaceous species belonging to the Apiaceae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota Domain,
Kingdom Plantae,
Magnoliophyta Division,
Magnoliopsida class,
Order Apiales,
Apiaceae family,
Subfamily Apioideae,
Genus Silaum,
S. silaus species.
Basionimo is the term:
– Peucedanum silaus L ..
The terms are synonyms:
– Cnidium pratense (Crantz) Bubani;
– Cnidium silaus (L.) M.Bieb.;
– Cnidium silaus (L.) Spreng.;
– Crithmum silaus (L.) Wibel;
– Ligusticum alpestre (L.) Calest.;
– Ligusticum arenarium (Spreng.) Link;
– Ligusticum silaus (L.) All.;
– Ligusticum silaus (L.) Vill.;
– Meum sibiricum Spreng.;
– Meum silaus (L.) Baill.;
– Peucedanum album Spreng.;
– Peucedanum album hort.;
– Peucedanum album hort. ex Hoffm.;
– Peucedanum alpestre (L.) Spreng.;
– Peucedanum alpestre L.;
– Peucedanum arenarium Spreng.;
– Peucedanum flavum Salisb.;
– Peucedanum matthiolii Spreng.;
– Peucedanum pratense (Crantz) Lam.;
– Peucedanum serotinum Pers.;
– Peucedanum tenuifolium Hort.Par.;
– Peucedanum tenuifolium Hort.Par. ex Poir.;
– Peucedanum trilobatum Gilib.;
– Saxifraga magna Garsault;
– Selinum alpestre (L.) Crantz;
– Selinum sibiricum Retz.;
– Selinum silaus (L.) Crantz;
– Selinum silaus (L.) Prantl;
– Seseli pratense Crantz;
– Seseli selinoides Jacq.;
– Silaum alpestre (L.) Thell.;
– Silaum alpestris (L.) Besser;
– Silaum besseri (DC.) Galushko;
– Silaum besseri (DC.) Grossh.;
– Silaum flavescens (Bernh.) Hayek;
– Silaum flavescens Bernh.;
– Silaum pratensis Bess.;
– Silaum serotinum (Pers.) M.Hiroe;
– Silaum silaus var. latissimum Reduron;
– Silaum tenellum (Velen.) M.Hiroe;
– Silaum tenellus Velen.;
– Silaum tenuifolium (Poir.) Reduron;
– Silaum tenuifolius (Poir.) DC.;
– Silaus alpestre (L.) Thell.;
– Silaus alpestris (L.) Besser;
– Silaus alpestris (L.) Besser ex Schult.;
– Silaus besseri DC.;
– Silaus flavescens Bernh.;
– Silaus flavescens var. latisectus Beck, 1892;
– Silaus gracilis Bunge;
– Silaus matthiolii (Spreng.) Koch;
– Silaus pratensis (Crantz) Besser;
– Silaus pratensis (Crantz) Besser ex Schult.
– Silaus selinoides (Jacq.) Beck;
– Silaus selinoides (Jacq.) Halácsy;
– Silaus serotinus (Pers.) Rchb.;
– Silaus silaus (L.) H.Karst.;
– Silaus tenellus Velen.;
– Silaus tenuifolius DC.;
– Sium silaus (L.) Roth.

Etymology –
The term Silaum comes from silaus.
The specific epithet silaus is the term attributed by Pliny to a marshy apiacea.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
The silaum silaus is a perennial plant with a Eurosiberian distribution area and with presences in south-eastern, central and western Europe, including the British Isles.
This plant is present in Italy, where it is found in Lombardy and Veneto but probably extinct in other northern regions.
Its habitat is that of humid meadows, from the sub-Mediterranean belt to the lower mountain belt, in soils with neutral pH.

Description –
Silaum silaus is an erect, glabrous herbaceous plant with woody, robust, cylindrical and aromatic tap roots.
It has 2–4 pinnate leaves, which have a triangular and lanceolate profile, a long petiole and the primary divisions are long-pedunculated. The segments are 10-15 mm long, lanceolate to linear in shape, the ends are sharp or obtuse and mucronate, the leaves are finely serrulate, with a prominent central rib; the apex is often reddish in color. There are also superior cauline leaves which are simple or reduced to a sheath; there is no petiole and the cotyledons are tapered at the base. There are 0–3 bracts and 5–11 bracts; the pedicels are linear-lanceolate with scary margins.
The flowers are collected in umbels and are yellowish in color and 1.5 mm wide, with absent sepals, and the styles form a stilopodium.
The umbels have a diameter of 2–6 cm, are terminal or axillary and compound, with from 4 to 15 angled rays of 1–3 cm; the peduncle is larger than the rays, and both are papillose.
The flowers are mostly hermaphrodite and the flowering period is between June and August.
The fruits are 4-5 mm in size, oblong-ovoid and are rarely compressed. The commissure is wide, the mericarps are prominent with thin crests and lateral wings; there is a carpophore. [3] There are numerous vittae, with robust pedicels of 2-3 mm in size, and the stigmas have occurred.

Cultivation –
Silaum silaus is a perennial plant that is collected and used in its natural state for local use as food.
It is an easy-to-grow plant that grows in most soils, with a preference for neutral ones, and can be grown as a summer lawn.
Propagation takes place by seed which can be broadcast sown directly in the open field in spring.

Customs and Traditions –
Silaum silaus is a plant that, especially in the past, was used for both food and medicinal purposes.
The whole plant, when stepped on, emits a very unpleasant hydrogen sulfide odor that is difficult to remove from the skin. If this is eaten by cattle, the plant will transmit its smell to the milk.
For edible use, cooked leaves are used which are sometimes used as a drink with an acid aroma.
Few and fragmented news reaches us for medicinal use, but it seems that both the roots and the fruits were used.

Preparation Method –
Silaum silaus, like many other plants now almost no longer used, is a herb that was once used in various regions for both food and medicinal use.
Nowadays, medicinal uses are almost abandoned; fruit and roots were probably used, while cooked leaves are used in some areas for food.

Guido Bissanti

– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.
Photo source:

Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; therefore no responsibility is taken for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.

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