Category Archives: Edimentals

Primula veris mutants

Hybrids can also occur in gardens. I’ve several strains in my garden from seed, including “Sunset Shades” and “Red Strain”. I also grow the earlier flowering subspecies macrocalyx with overlarge sepals.
I use small amounts of leaves and flowers to decorate spring salads and other dishes…an undispensable shade loving and hardy edimental!

 

Appalachian Greens

I can go out into my garden and “forage” spring greens from anywhere in the temperate Northern Hemisphere! This week I foraged possibly the top two traditional spring greens of the Appalachian mountains, one of them, known as Sochan (so cha ni) by Native Americans, for the first time! Sochan has also now entered my all time top ten perennial vegetable list and would definitely have been in my book if I had discovered it before as it’s also a fantastic edimental! It is Rudbeckia laciniata, known as Cut-leaf (or Green-headed) coneflower or Golden Glow!

Kyss meg over gjerdet (Kiss me over the fence) in the “Oldemorshagen” (Grandmother’s Garden) in the Oslo Botanical Garden

Here in Norway, the double-flowered cultivar “Hortensis” (also sold in the UK as “Golden Glow”) is a common ornamental known as “Gjerdesolhatt” or “Kyss meg over gjerdet” (Kiss me over the fence)  reflecting on the fact that it’s often planted next to fences.

I’m not sure where I first heard of its edibility, but another Norwegian gardener sent me a plant 10 years ago and it’s since spread slowly where I placed it in a shady spot (sunny in spring before the leaves of an apple tree shade it out!):

My Rudbeckia!

It is well documented as probably the most important spring vegetable of the Cherokee in the Southern Appalachians in Moerman’s Native American Ethnobotany, which is probably where I first noted its edibility. It’s missed in Cornucopia II. The Cherokee ate the tender young leaves and stems cooked alone or with other greens such as poke (Phytolacca americana), Ramps (Allium tricoccum), Rumex spp. (docks) and eggs. They were also fried with fat and were also dried for later use and also eaten as a cooked spring salad or as celery (presumably raw). Unlike some other Native American veggies, this one doesn’t seem to have been adopted by the Europeans and remained a closely kept Cherokee secret!

I didn’t know of others who had eaten this plant and it wasn’t until I read Samuel Thayer’s glowing account of this plant (11 pages) in his gem of a book “Incredible Wild Edibles” (2017) that I was encouraged to give it a go!  I also missed Mountain Gardener Joe Hollis’ video on this plant (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBJncaj1ZPM; also from 2017).

It is believed to have similar medicinal properties to closely related Echinacea (also known as coneflower).

I finally got round to trying it for the first time last week and, wow, I hadn’t expected it to taste that good, slightly sweet and aromatic similar to other Asteraceae like Korean Aster scaber.  We served it with probably the No. 1 North Appalachian spring edible, Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris).

The RHS Plant Finder in the UK lists 12 different ornamental cultivars available from UK nurseries!

In Norway, this species has escaped from gardens and is established in som places, but is not considered to have an ecological risk (low risk on the national invasives list). It is very hardy. My double-flowered clone doesn’t seem to produce seed.

ENJOY!

 

Grand Opening of The Edible Garden Permaculture LAND Centre

Grand Opening of The Edible Garden Permaculture LAND Centre

(Thanks to Berit Børte, Kjell Hødnebø, Lone Dybdal, Elin Mar, Bell Batta Torheim, Inger Line Skurdal Ødegård and Margaret M. Anderson for the pictures )
Sunday 5th May was a cold showery day here in Malvik and the 3rd day of KVANN’s (Norwegian Seed Savers) annual meeting weekend in Trondheim and Malvik. This was also the day of the official opening of my garden as a Permaculture LAND centre, which was celebrated by a primula ribbon cutting ceremony and the LAND multi-species salad (how many ingredients? See below!). Meg had decorated the  gate for the occasion, now a permanent feature:

25 participants from all over Norway met in the garden at 10:30. Due to the weather,  we moved inside where I gave an introduction to how the garden had developed into a permaculture Forest Garden despite the fact that I knew nothing of permaculture principles! The rain eased off, so we moved outside for a walk and talk around the garden with focus on the plants. The album below shows some of the plants we talked about:

I had got up at 6 am to pick the ingredients for the multi-species salad we made for lunch (all 146 ingredients) to celebrate the garden’s LAND status!
LAND:   Learning And Network Demonstration network – a  network of permaculture sites.  Sites are set up to show permaculture in practice to visitors and volunteers in a safe, accessible and inspiring way. There are a number of requirements to receive LAND certification, one of which was that I had to have a PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate) which I took in 2017, sharing the teaching with Jan Bang (yes, I taught myself the plants part of the course!)

In Norway – http://www.permakultur.no/land  (Læring, Aktivitet, Nettverk og Demonstrasjon)
In the UK – https://www.permaculture.org.uk/land-centres

Before lunch, we had the official LAND opening ceremony for the Edible Garden, introduced by Eirik Lillebøe Wiken
of the Norwegian Permaculture Association,

See Berit’s FB video: https://www.facebook.com/beritboslo/videos/10219097282043751   followed by our living ribbon-cutting ceremony!

The ribbon had been expertly made by Meg Anderson from flower shoots of Primula hybrids (cowslip, primrose, oxlip / marianøkleblom, kusymre, hagenøkleblom) :-)

There was then a joint effort in my kitchen to put the salad together:

THE LAND SALAD (146 ingredients)
Aegopodium podograria
Agastache foeniculum
Alchemilla mollis
Alium carolinianum
Alliaria petiolata; Flower Tops
Allium “Summer Beauty”
Allium ampeloprasum
Allium amphibolum
Allium caeruleum
Allium cernuum
Allium cernuum “Pink Giant”
Allium cernuum x stellatum “Hammer”
Allium cyaneum
Allium douglasii
Allium fistulosum
Allium fistulosum “Gribovskiy 21”
Allium flavescens
Allium flavum “Blue Leaf”
Allium flavum “nana”
Allium hymennorhizum
Allium hymenorhizum (var truncatifolium?)
Allium jajla
Allium karataviense
Allium nutans “Caroline”
Allium nutans “Slizun”
Allium oleraceum
Allium oreophilum
Allium paradoxum var normale
Allium paradoxum var paradoxum
Allium sativum (garlic)
Allium schoenoprasum “Black Island Blush” ; Flower buds
Allium schoenoprasum “Black Island Blush” ; Leaves
Allium schoenoprasum #1
Allium schoenoprasum #2
Allium schoenoprasum #3
Allium schoenoprasum #4
Allium schoenoprasum #5
Allium schoenoprasum #6
Allium scorodoprasum
Allium splendens
Allium validum
Allium victorialis “Granvin”
Allium x cornutum
Allium x proliferum “Bergstua”
Allium x prolifrum “Amish Topset”
Allium zebdanense
Angelica “Vossakvann”
Angelica spp.
Arabis alpina
Arabis alpina
Arabis caucasica “Pink”
Artemisia dracunculus sativa “German”
Asparagus officinalis
Atriplex hortensis “Rubra”
Barbara vulgaris
Barbarea vulgaris variegata
Begonia heracleifolia; Flowers
Beta vulgaris flavescens “Swiss Chard”
Brassica napa “Turnip tops”
Brassica oleracea “Walsall Allotments perennial kale”
Brassica oleracea Perennial Kale #1
Brassica oleracea Perennial Kale #2
Brassica oleracea Perennial Kale #3
Brassica oleracea Perennial Kale #4
Brassica oleracea Perennial Kale #5
Brassica oleracea Perennial Kale #6
Brassica oleracea Perennial Kale #7
Brassica oleracea Perennial Kale #8
Brassica oleracea x (Bed 7) #1 sort
Brassica oleracea x (Bed 7) #2
Campanula rapunculoides
Campanula trachelium
Cardamine pentaphyllos
Carum carvi (caraway)
Chamerion angustifolium
Cichorium intybus #1
Cichorium intybus #2
Cichorium intybus #3
Cichorium intybus #4
Claytonia virginica; Flowers
Claytonia virginica; Leaves
Coriandrum sativum; Leaves
Crambe martima
Hablitzia tamnoides
Hemerocallis dumortieri; Flower buds
Honckenya peploides
Hosta sieboldiana Ex- Mira
Houttuynia cordata #1
Houttuynia cordata #2
Houttuynia cordata #3
Hydrophyllum virginianum
Hylotelephium var.
Leucanthemum vulgare
Levisticum officinale
Ligularia fischeri
Lunaria annua
Lunaria rediviva Flor
Malva alcea
Malva moschata
Melissa officinalis
Mentha #1
Mentha #2
Meum athamaticum
Myrrhis odorata
Olea europaea (oliven)
Origanum vulgare #1
Origanum vulgare #2
Origanum vulgare #3
Oxalis acetosella
Oxalis tuberosa “Oca”; Leaves
Phyteuma spicata
Primula denticulata
Primula veris Red
Primula vulgaris
Primula x ; Flowers
Primula x ; Leaves
Rhodiola rosea
Rhododendron mucronulatum; Flowers
Ribes spp. #1; Flowers
Ribes spp. #2; Flowers
Rumex acetosa
Rumex patientia
Rumex scutatus
Rumex scutatus “Silver Shield”
Rumex acetosa Russian #1
Rumex acetosa Russian #2
Rumex acetosa Russian #3
Rumex acetosa Russian #4
Rumex acetosa Russian #5
Rumex acetosa Russian #6
Rumex acetosa ssp vinealis
Scorzonera hispanica
Sedum “Carl”
Sium sisarum
Sonchus oleraceus
Taraxacum “Moss-leaved”
Taraxacum #1
Taraxacum albidum
Tragopogon pratensis
Trillium erectum “Burgundy”
Trillium grandiflorum ’Pink’
Tulipa fosteriana purissisima; Flowers
Tulipa viridiflora “Esperanto”
Tulipa x gesneriana “Pilot” (syn Tulipa norvegica); Flowers
Viola canadense
Viola hybrida “Yellow” ; Flowers
+ (not grown locally!):
Olea europaea (olive)

 

Edibles in Dunedin Botanics

At long last,  an album of pictures of edible plants spotted in the Dunedin Botanic Garden during my late summer visit on 26th March 2015, as part of a lecture tour of New Zealand. See the photo captions for more information!

Wisley Gardens March 2019

An album of pictures from my visit to RHS Wisley Gardens on 11th March 2019  just outside of London, one of my favourite gardens for edimental spotting which I’ve visited many times over the years. I’ve added comments of edibility to most pictures!

 

 

Edible plants of the Sintra Natural Park

In the morning of the masterclass on permaveggies on 1st November 2018 organised by the Janas Ecovillage, we visited Jardim da Condessa D’Edla in collaboration with the Sintra Natural Parks! Fernanda Botelho​ and myself lead the tour of this amazing place seeking out a large diversity of edible plants, both wild and cultivated :)

Edimental of the day on Twitter

Updated complete list of links to my Edimental of the Day tweets on Twitter!

010818 Allium caeruleum (Blue-of-the-Heavens) pic.twitter.com/VhjAxsp9pC
020818 Monarda “Adam” pic.twitter.com/sbsygqHh7m
030818 Korean mint, Agastache rugosa “Blue Fortune” pic.twitter.com/mcjLczm9Gx
040818 Dwarf Jerusalem Artichoke pic.twitter.com/8m484da2fX
050818 Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) pic.twitter.com/m17cRB01aQ
060818 Korean Angelica (Angelica gigas) pic.twitter.com/jdElTlLXrb
070818 Saskatoon, Amelanchier alnifolia “Thiessen” pic.twitter.com/bWBZ0iNXQL
080818 Korean Aster (Aster scaber) pic.twitter.com/MftOTCuJew
100818 Sherpa or Nepal onion (Allium wallichii) pic.twitter.com/oYSY4HKYiG
110818 Houttuynia cordata (“Flore Pleno”). pic.twitter.com/tVLRy99GTI
120818 Hosta sieboldiana pic.twitter.com/98NA1rJeDR
130818 Udo or Japanese Asparagus, Aralia cordata pic.twitter.com/hD8CjAsnMm
140818 Hemerocallis altissima (literally Tallest Daylily) pic.twitter.com/JQSaUOteBL
150818 Oerprei, a form of Allium ampeloprasum pic.twitter.com/AykXXKAEV9
160818 Tigridia pavonia (Cacomitl or tiger flower) pic.twitter.com/NXtWuTgayo
170818 Phaseolus coccineus (runner bean) bicoloured cultivar “Painted Lady”, pic.twitter.com/EGtFQxeT6i
180818 Allium sativum (garlic) variety Aleksandra pic.twitter.com/922GZJcyQ7
190818 Variegated ground elder (Aegopodium podograria variegata) pic.twitter.com/KpyGKTgfEz
200818 Yellow variegated devil’s walking stick (Aralia elata “Aureovariegata”) pic.twitter.com/F2KP2tTCwa
210818 Tomato Rose (Rosa rugosa) pic.twitter.com/DFqqmj89lu
220818 Mashua “Ken Aslet” (Tropaeolum tuberosum) pic.twitter.com/b4Mx3WwYTx
230818 Paracress, toothache plant and electric daisy (Spilanthes acmella) pic.twitter.com/vam8IfwN2a
240818 Adam’s needle or Eve’s thread (Yucca filamentosa) pic.twitter.com/U6lScdP6l0
250818 Snow white bee balm (Monarda “Schneewitchen” pic.twitter.com/y7vxjQuOT6
260818 Citron or long yellow daylily (Hemerocallis citrina), pic.twitter.com/mN28JcbbMr
270818 Vasconcellea goudotiana (papayuelo) pic.twitter.com/0qQPseypwU
280818 Dark form of Sherpa or Nepal onion (Allium wallichii) pic.twitter.com/TN0FM1vf7U
300818 Musk mallow (Malva moschata) pink and white pic.twitter.com/AJe0tTJlKQ
310818 Nigella sativa, black onion seed, black caraway, black cumin or kalonji. pic.twitter.com/4KeU43lalq
010918 Urtica laetevirens pic.twitter.com/MTVneuWE2S
020918 Tuberous begonias pic.twitter.com/ckRFTOHzL9
030918 Ansofs Gule (or Tante Cis) tomato pic.twitter.com/oEWCodDZck
040918 Kanokoyuri (Lilium speciosum pic.twitter.com/RfkFaG7QqW
060918 Udo (Aralia cordata) in Reykjavik pic.twitter.com/jSdLzSI6At 
070918 American elderberry (Sambucus canadensis “York”) pic.twitter.com/9BMbAdJZHw
080918 Pink flowered dandelion (Taraxacum pseudoroseum) pic.twitter.com/qMcdC3Dgp6
100918 Moonglow tomato pic.twitter.com/WjSJMtu2Lt
110918 Lilium auratum pic.twitter.com/syjEp4Q7UX
120918 Twistedleaf or lopsided onion (Allium obliquum) pic.twitter.com/QItOxWozm8
150918 Paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera) pic.twitter.com/IqkwUyrfZG
160918 Japanese dogwood (Cornus kousa) pic.twitter.com/Ia7EAuiBmW
170918 Opopeo Love-lies-bleeding (Amarantus caudatus “Opopeo”) pic.twitter.com/NXEPEXs8g9
180918 Rubus illecebrosus (the Strawberry-Raspberry) pic.twitter.com/yA8rsBoczL
011018 Sweet chestnut rose (Rosa roxburghii) pic.twitter.com/2URC57Gpi0
021008 Blue passion flower (Passiflora caerulea) pic.twitter.com/Ll2uXtGBCt
031008 Castanea sativa “Albomarginata” pic.twitter.com/fFdTGpcVlw