Including Garidella unguicularis


Common Names:- None

Synonyms:- Nigella nigellastrum

Meaning:- Garidella Meaning unknown
                  Nigellastrum (L) Medieval Latin name for corn-cockle.              
General description:- Herbaceous plant.

1) 30-50 cm, slender, simple or with ascending branches.

1) Alternate, deeply divided, with narrow parallel-sided segments, glabrous.
2) Cauline, deeply divided into linear segments.

1) Solitary on long pedicels.
2) Perianth-segments, 3-4 mm, greenish, tinged purplish or reddish.
3) Honey-leaves, 7-9 mm, the claw not exserted.
4) Lower lip of the limb oblong, narrowed at base, divided into two linear-oblong
5) Anthers dark brown.

1) Seeds rugose with anastomosing ridges.

Key features:-
1) Honey-leaves 7-9 mm, oblong.
2) Anthers dark brown.

Click here for a glossary of terms used.

Habitat:- Dry open shrubby vegetation, fallow fields, olive groves, gorges, roadsides
and other disturbed habitats. 0-500 m.

Distribution:- Limited distribution in the Aegean area, but widely scattered in the
Mediterranean area, eastwards to Caucasia and N Iran. Somewhat sparsely 
scattered across Crete, mainly in the central areas.

Flowering time:- Apr-May.

Photos by:- Zacharias Angourakis

                        FAMILY  AND GENUS DESCRIPTIONS


General description:- Herbs or rarely woody climbers.

Leaves:- Alternate, without stipules (exstipulate), rarely opposite or stipulate.

Flowers:- Usually hermaphrodite and radially symmetrical (actinomorphic), the
sepals, petals and stamens inserted on the receptacle below and free from the
ovary (hypogynous). Perianth petaloid or sepaloid, arranged in whorled (verticillate).
Honey-leaves (petaloid structures bearing nectaries) often present, sometimes
funnel-shaped (infundibuliform). Stamens numerous, usually spirally arranged, with
the anthers facing and opening outwards, away from the centre of the flower
(extrorse). Carpels 1 to many, usually free and spirally arranged.

Fruit:- Usually of 1 or more follicles or a head of achenes.


Leaves:- Usually 2- or 3-pinnatisect with linear segments.

Flowers:- Perianth-segments 5, petaloid, falling early (caducous). shorter than the
honey-leaves. Honey-leaves 5, opposite to and much smaller than the perianth-
segments. Styles c. 1 mm.

Fruit:- Follicles 2 or 3, united below, inflated; styles c. 1 mm.

Key features:-
1) Honey-leaves longer than the caducous perianth-segments.

Synonyms:- Nigella unguicularis

Meaning:- Unguicularis (L) With a small claw.

Resembling Garidella nigellastrum in vegetative characters as follows:

1) Sepals slightly shorter and broader.
2) Petals with a long, slender claw.
   a) lower lip of the limb c. half as long as the claw.
   b) broadly ovate, cordate at the base, shortly bifid, incurved at almost
       right angles to form a roof over the follicles.
3) Anthers yellow.

Habitat:- Dry open shrubby vegetation, scrubland vegetation and roadsides 0-500

Distribution:- A rare species known from only a few locations on Crete. The only
ones in Europe. A species of E Turkey, W Syria, Palestine and Iraq, First reportÚd
from Crete by Arne Strid (1969). With a subsquent discovery in 2023 by Manolis
Petakakis in the Neo Chorio region of west Crete.

Flowering time:- May-early June

Photos by:- Manolis Petakakis