Growing Bishop’s weed is hardly a task, it is known to spread and notorious for being invasive. If you search on the net, you will get numerous names for this herb – starting from carom herb to goutweed, herb Gerard after St. Gerard who cured gout with it and many more like Bishop’s Wort, Dwarf Elder, Goat’s Foot, Goatweed, and the ultimate snow in the mountain.
It is known to choke out anything growing in your garden including the weed and yet it finds a place in the heart of many herb gardener’s for its virtues. So far, I have only one carom herb that has fully grown and I have to observe its growth. The above picture of this lovely herb is from my home garden.
I fell in love with this herb with bright lush green foliage while growing basil. I planted this besides the basil herb. While growing basil had been a nightmare, the carom herb which I planted beside it never complained. Many of my basil baby herbs that died were planted in full sun and had enough room to grow. I had no idea whatsoever why it died that day and no more even today.
If you research this aromatic herb, you will find that it was brought into England during the medieval period. It made its home in the wilds at the edge of grass lands and is all over the Berkshires. It can be easily spotted and foraged in the wilds and makes mighty tasty soups.
Romans used it as a potent herb and it is an Indian aphrodisiac herb which is also used by Russians for eating. In World War II, Germans used it for cooking as it was easily available in forests.
It makes an excellent ground cover, you can cut the flowers if you don’t want them and it will come back year after year with the lovely green foliage. It covers up the barren soil and keeps the weeds out. If you dislike working in the garden, this makes an excellent cover for those who want their backyard to look wonderful with minimum hassles. It requires little water, fertilizer and caring.
Bishop’s weed can thrive in any kind of soil, they can tolerate some of the worst soil quality if they are kept moist. They grow close to the ground almost one foot tall and give white little flowers in the month of May and June. It is quite invasive and if you want to prevent it spreading you should contain them in pots or use natural obstacles like rocks, stones and pavement.