Notes Syrian Scabious

The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.

Zohary equates this with sowing weed seeds that resemble the seeds of the crops. "Darnels and scabious are both noxious weeds that grow only among crops, and damage them. ... The Syrian scabious resembles wheat only by virtue of its seed", (ZOH) while the darnel plant and seed alike resemble wheat. Its grains are closely associated with certain wheat varieties and are harvested accidentally with the wheat. As a result, the weed seeds are sown with the following wheat crop, in some cases overwhelming the crop, in others contributing their bitterness to the resultant flour. I gather from Zohary's conclusion that the seed must be somewhat edible. "Sometimes the weed overwhelms the wheat, so that the farmer is forced to harvest it instead of the sown plant." (ZOH) According to the USDA Nomenclature Database, the seeds are human food (valued in Georgia, previously of the USSR, but not elsewhere, when contaminating wheat and ground into flour for specially flavored bread) (USN).

Common Names (Syrian Scabious):

Abrepunos (Sp.; USN); Cephalaire de Syrie (Fr.; USN); Escabiosilla (Sp.; USN); Makhobeli (Rus.; USN); Taradan Shalam (Arab.; ZOH); Zuwan Aswad (Arab.; ZOH).

Dosages (Syrian Scabious):

Grown as an oilseed in Russia (FP3); sometimes made into wheat flour as the seeds are threshed with the wheat in which it is a weed.

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