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Scurvy Grass | Tipitsiariktut nunarait
Scurvy Grass | Tipitsiariktut nunarait

Scientific name: Cochlearia groenlandica

These plants are biennial herbs. In the first year, this plant grows leaves. The plant does not flower. The leaves produce food reserves that are stored in the taproot over winter. The following season, the plants flower and produce seeds, after which they die. The smooth stems of these plants either are erect or grow along the ground. They can grow between 2 and 32 centimetres high. This species is one of the most variable plants in Nunavut. It can be as small as 5 centimetres high, growing flat along the ground in the High Arctic, or it can be large and lush and grow to 30 centimetres or higher if it grows under bird cliffs, where it receives extra nitrogen from bird droppings.

The leaves of this plant were eaten raw or cooked in the spring by both early explorers and Inuit. Their taste is a bit peppery and they are a good source of Vitamin C. source

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