I used to grow Oxalis triangularis, also known as the False Shamrock for the leaves and flowers. It’s also a perfect edimental house plant here as it likes cool indoor temperatures and struggles / goes dormant if it gets too warm.
I was given a couple of plants the other day, surplus to the plant sale at the botanical gardens. Repotting the plants yesterday, I noticed that there were quite a number of sizeable tubers and I had a taste for the first time. I was surprised how sweet they tasted!!
A year ago, I reported on variegation on a Hablitzia in my son’s garden on Nesodden near Oslo (see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=18162). I gave him this plant a few years ago and I really didn’t believe it would thrive here as the spot appeared very dry with poorish looking soil, but this year it’s clearly thriving and is sprawling in different directions (they plan to paint the house, so it’s not been trained up the wall). I discovered for the second year running that one of the shoots is variegated, similar to Mandy Barber‘s plant a couple of years ago reported on the Friends of Hablitzia forum on FB!
Has anyone had success (or not) with layering Hablitzia to propagate?
Previous posts on variegated Habbies here (on Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/groups/hablitzia/search/?query=variegation
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!
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!
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!):
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.
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!)
I thought I’d lost this unusual onion, Allium atrosanguineum, but one flower head appeared again this week and there are two other plants, one of which is being moved to the Ringve (Trondheim) Botanical Garden Allium garden!
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!
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!