Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Mexican and Indian foods are renowned for their flavors of cumin, but surprisingly this annual herb originates from North Africa along the Mediterranean, most specifically Egypt. It is a fast-growing but short-lived plant that completes its life cycle in only three or four months. Cumin may be grown during the frost-free times of year when temperatures are comfortably cool, such as spring or fall. The cumin spice is the dried fruit and the seeds, which are typically ground.
An upright plant with fine feathery leaves, cumin looks similar to dill or fennel. From a rosette of ferny foliage it sends up upright stems topped with umbrella-like umbels of tiny delicate five-petaled flowers with purplish bases. Insects pollinate the fragrant flowers and the equally fragrant seeds are shed when fruits are fully dry.
Grow cumin in cool sunny locations, ideally in a sandy loam soil with moderate moisture and a neutral to slightly alkaline pH. Excessive summer heat, drought or frost kills plants. In the Mediterranean this herb's seeds are sown in late winter and the dry fruit harvested by spring.
Cumin seed is easily misidentified or confused with caraway seed (Carum carvi). The name "black cumin" doesn't refer to Cuminum cyminum, but rather Nigella sativa or Bunium persicum.
12 - 1
A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
10"-16" / 25.4cm - 40.6cm
10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm
Mediterranean, Northern Africa
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Tan, Sandy Brown
Edible, Herb / Vegetable
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