Acmella oleracea is part of the daisy family, normally daisies are cute little flowers, innocent souls, but this plant is quite quite different.
Another name for it is the ‘The toothache plant’, it comes from Brazil and has brought me so much fun. Basically nip the large buds off and chew it. First of all it’s very sweet like sucking a lemon, then next minute your whole mouth goes numb and tingles it’s amazing!
I’d say it’s like eating a chilli, but it’s completely different, like nothing you will of felt before. This naturally has caused me to become something of a trickster. Peoples reactions to it have been astoundingly funny. My 6 year old daughter ran around the allotment saying her mouth was on fire, my Dad said his mouth was a slobbering mess and my friends in work were screaming in terror and thinking they were about to die! Then after 15 mins of a numb tingling mouth it disappears…
The only draw back to these amazing tricky little plants is the slugs love eating their leaves and if left unguarded they will strip them in a night. But if you can keep them in a warm little spot protected from evil slugs you will have such a laugh at your next BBQ.
Get some next season for high jinx and if your sensible for tooth ache and sore gums.