Biscutella auriculata: characteristics, habitat and care

Today we are going to talk about a type of plant that, although it does not have great ornamental value, has some medicinal properties that have been used since traditional medicine. It’s about the auriculata biscuit. It is known by other common names such as blinders, spectacles, Santa Lucia glasses, génaves, spectacle grass, tamarilla and spectacle yerba. The name Biscutella derives from Latin, composed of bi which means a double and scutella which means small cup. This name alludes to the fruit that evokes the ears.

In this article we are going to tell you all the characteristics, habitat and care of the auriculata biscuit.

Key features

We are talking about a type of annual plant that usually reaches heights of between 40 to 60 centimeters. They have stems of the chosen type and have a good branching in the part of the upper half of the plant. In order to protect themselves from the cold and the strongest gusts of wind, they have hairs on the lower part of the stem. However, the plant is glabrous at the top.

Its leaves closest to the base are arranged in a rosette way and those stem leaves are more numerous. These leaves become progressively less dense as we approach the inflorescence. Around the inflorescence are sensitive leaves and wounds. Flowering takes place during the spring time when temperatures begin to be higher and there is no longer any danger of any type of frost. Its flowers are hermaphrodite, actinomorphic and tetrameric. They have 4 patent lemon yellow petals.

They are flowers that do not stand out too much so they do not have a great ornamental interest. Each flora has 6 stamens that are divided into those internal that have filament or side and the external ones that are glabrous or hispid sepals. As for the fruit, it is delicate and flattened. It has a glandular appearance and a shape of spectacle lenses with a marginal membrane. If we look inside, we see that the seed has an ovate shape and a brown color.

Uses of auriculata biscuit

This plant was formerly used in herbal tea or infusion to be able to eliminate excess water and sodium through the urine. That is, it was used mainly as a drainer for fluid retention in the body. Those people who frequently retain fluids need to go to the bathroom more to promote the flow of fluids in and out. An infusion of auriculata biscuit It helps a lot to expel excess fluids from edema or combat dropsy.

To prepare an infusion with auriculata biscuit you need to boil a liter of water. We will pour into the pot a whole plant that is previously dried and chopped. Once the water is boiled and the plant has been in contact with it for a few minutes, we turn off the heat to let the mixture cool a little. To improve the flavor, we can sweeten the infusion a little with honey.

Habitat and area of ​​distribution

Biscutella auriculata leaves

We will analyze the habitat and area of ​​distribution of the auriculata biscuit. This plant can be found in grasslands of annuals and nitrophiles. Nitrophilic plants are those that need a soil with a large amount of nitrogen. Normally, these soils correspond to those that have a high content of organic matter. These soils are usually rich in nutrients and are able to meet the high demand for nutrients that this plant has.

We also find this plant in habitats such as crops and fallows, banks and roadsides. These are one of the reasons why we see that it is not a plant that has ornamental interest, since it can be found in places that do not need any type of decoration. It is a plant that has a range of the entire western Mediterranean, the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa. It was widely distributed throughout Spain, except in the northern area. In the Murcia region it is very widespread although it is more common to see it in inland areas.

Its outstanding flora is a main characteristic of all the species of the cruciferous family. And it is that its flowers adopt the shape of a cross or cross that gives its name to this family. The entire genus Biscutella is made up of a complex group of plants of which numerous species have been described over time. In particular, almost all those plants belonging to this genus usually develop in rocks and have small flowers. It is often confused with other plants that have larger flowers but have a similar appearance.

Caring for the auriculata biscuit

auriculata biscuit

Although it is not a plant with ornamental interest and for garden decoration, it may be interesting to grow it outdoors to use its draining properties. Being a plant that abounds in fallows, cultivated fields, banks and gutters, it is not a plant that is very demanding in terms of care. We see that the main thing we must take into account is sun exposure. So that it can thrive in good condition needs full sun exposure.

You need a soil that will be clay, limestone or sandy type that has mainly a soft texture. Let’s not forget that it needs to have a high nitrogen content since it is a nitrophilic species. Another fundamental aspect of this plant is irrigation. If the soil has a light texture, we will not need a great watering. On the other hand, if the soil is clayey, we will have to increase the irrigation frequency a little. The important thing is that the soil has good drainage. Drainage is the ability of the soil to avoid the accumulation of irrigation or rain water.

Finally, it will need a fertilizer rich in nitrogen once we have sown it. To collect it, we must put it in the shade at a temperature below 30 degrees and store it in dry jars and away from light. In this way, we manage to dry them and then chop them and make the infusions.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the Biscutella auriculata.

Biscutella auriculata: characteristics, habitat and care

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