Evergreen throughout this last winter and leafing up quickly now that spring approaches.
State of growth in February 2016
The leaves are mild and slightly pea-like in flavour. I could detect no bitterness. Best harvested before flowering.
The plant has a long history of use in the Mediterranean especially in Italy. One can turn up countless Italian names for bladder campion: stridolo, strigoli, carletti, sculpit, grisolon, bubbolini, coietti, cannateddi, schioppettino, cavoli della comare, tagliatelle della Madonna, erba del cucco and virzuli are just a small sample!
In Italian style I cooked the leaves in a risotto (along with Babington leek, shallot, white wine and soft Italian cheese).
Risotto di Vizuli
It is also used in many other ways: pasta sauces, as a stuffing in ravioli, and in frittata, salads and stews. I'm looking forward to making a vegetarian version of this Spanish dish Potaje de garbanzos con collejas y bacalao (chickpea stew with bladder campion and cod).
N.B. I sell a range of perennial vegetable plants on my website.