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Peganum harmala – Syrian Rue (seed)

5.0 (1 review)


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Peganum harmala is a small erect shrub up to 0.5 metres in height, native to south Europe, north Africa and subtropical Asia. Family Zygophyllaceae.

Peganum harmala seeds are used as a dye and as a spice in Turkey. The smoke from the seeds is a traditional intoxicant and sexual stimulant in central Asia (esphand or esfand). Peganum harmala seeds contain beta carboline alkaloids which are reversible mono amine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI); the smoke from the seeds kills algae, bacteria, intestinal parasites and moulds. Peganum harmala has antibacterial activity, including against drug-resistant bacteria. Info on Harmal.

When the seeds are extracted with water, a fluorescent yellow dye is obtained. When Peganum harmala seeds are extracted with alcohol, a red dye is obtained, commonly called ‘Turkey Red’ used to dye carpets and wool.

Care and Cultivation of Peganum harmala

Peganum harmala seed should be treated as per our halopriming details below. Then sow seed just under surface of a seed raising mix (see below for our mix recipe) in full sun in spring/summer or when daytime temps are 25-35ºC and nighttime temperatures are above 15ºC. Once big enough the seeds can be separated and potted on.You can also direct sow to avoid disturbing the bright yellow, beta-carboline rich roots.

Halopriming is a process of soaking seeds for 24hrs+ in a salt water solution (about half as salty as seawater) and then drying them off, before sowing as normal. This method appears to greatly increase germination rate and strength of seedlings. We have excellent results in both the germination and survival of seedlings of Peganum harmala with halopriming.

We have found that Peganum harmala needs to be sown and grown in a soil mix high in inorganic material (pumice, sand, perlite, gravel, etc) and low in organic material (such as coco peat or pine bark, compost, etc). A typical ratio would be 70-90% inorganics to 30-10% organics. This enables sharp drainage and excellent survival of potted plants.

A plant native to arid regions, Syrian Rue likes well drained poor soil in full sun. Avoid overhead watering at humid and hot times of the year. Plants can be deciduous in times of drought and colder months of the year. Avoid watering during dormancy.

Peganum harmala may be subject to statutory control as a weed in some parts of Australia, please check your local/state laws before sowing.

Shipping restrictions: NOT to WA or SA.

250+ seeds per packet (1gram)

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1 review for Peganum harmala – Syrian Rue (seed)

  1. michael c

    delivered quickly. product as described. fantastic results. although it is difficult to grow in the tropical north qld.

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