Skirretotanical: Sium sisarum
Family: N.O. Umbelliferae Part Used: Root.
Sium sisarum, or Skirret, is a plant of Chinese origin, cultivated in Europe. It has a sweetish, somewhat aromatic root, which is used as a vegetable in much the same manner as the Oyster plant or Salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius) and the Parsnip. It is supposed to be a useful diet in chest complaints.
The name (sium) is from the Celtic siu (water), in allusion to their habitat.
S. Sisarum has been cultivated in this country since A.D. 1548. When boiled and served with butter, the roots form a dish, declared by Worlidge, in 1682, to be 'the sweetest, whitest, and most pleasant of roots.'
'Sisari, secacul. Of Scirrets. - They are hot and moist, of good nourishment, something windy, as all roots; by reason of which they . . . stir up appetite . . .'