Jordanian Plants
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Mrs. Alma Lou Annab
Posted on: April 13, 1998

Here in Jordan I have a plant growing in my herb garden that resembles basil in leaf shape, with reddish round leaves, but the growth habit is more like mint with runners. Its flavor is not really either one, do you have an idea which variety of either mint or basil? I know it’s the same family.

There are so many possibilities it is difficult for us say what you have. Basil and mint both belong to the same family, the Labiatae, which has many hundreds of important culinary and medicinal herbs.

Most universities have true botanists on the faculty who may be able to help you identify your plant.

Also, we have a plant used by herbalists which I have keyed out using a botanical reference. I don’t know what properties it has. It is known as Mountain Knotgrass or Whitlow wort in English, and Ijr-ul-hamam in Arabic. The botanical name is Paronychia argentea. It is flowers April- June and is found in dry places, Salt(town) rocky mountainous, Jericho below sea level, sandy, arid.

We checked several medicinal plant references for the Middle East area but did not find any information for Paronychia argentea.

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