Nigella hispanica L.
Bloom Time: Summer
Nigella hispanica is an annual herb with the most spectacular flowers in the Nigella genus. It grows up to 1 foot (30 cm) tall. Flowers are up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) across, blue with black centers and wine-colored stamens along with light green ferny foliage. Striking, chalice-shaped seedpods form on sturdy stems. They are green when they emerge, turning tan as they harden.
It is grown as an annual plant, so it has no USDA hardiness zone.
How to Grow and Care
Plant Nigella sativa seeds when no risk of frost exists. Sprouts appear in one to two weeks and flowers in about two to three months later.
Test the soil pH with a home kit two to three months before the desired planting date to verify the pH is slightly acidic with a value of 6.0 to 7.0. Work ground rock sulfur into the soil to lower the pH if needed. Follow the package application rate based on the current pH.
Let the soil rest for two to three months to give the amendment time to change the pH. Work 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) of organic compost into the planting area to a depth of 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm). Compost increases the nutrient value of the soil and is a natural fertilizer.
Sprinkle the Nigella sativa seeds lightly over the planting area. Next, sprinkle about 1/4 to 1/2 inch (8 to 13 mm) of soil over the seeds. Pat the soil gently to hold the seeds in place.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Nigella sativa.
This species is native to Spain.
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