Category Archives: Bulbs

Edibles in the January Bulb Garden at the Gothenburg Botanics

On my way north from Vienna to Oslo, I found myself unexpectedly with a 4 hour wait in Gothenburg in Sweden, and there was no hesitation to visit one of the great botanical gardens. I had no idea what there would be to see in January but with the mild winter I was surprised how much there was to see. Here are a collection of wierd and wonderful edibles in the unique bulb house!

Latest ever garlic planting

It seemed that it was going to be spring before I could plant my garlic this year after the soil froze solid at the end of October, taking me by surprise! Then a long mild period starting at Xmas, the soil finally became workable the day before leaving for England and I got all my varieties planted, although I was unable to mix in compost as the compost heap was still frozen! About 10 varieties this year! This is the latest I’ve planted garlic since I planted my first shop bought garlic in 1984!

Oriental and asiatic hybrid lilies

This is an asiatic hybrid lily growing in the garden of the flat I stayed in in Jondal during the Nordic Permaculture Festival!

An asiatic hybrid lily

According to wikipedia, asiatic hybrids include “hybrids of many Asiatic species and their interspecific hybrids, including  Lilium brownii,  Lilium henryi,  Lilium leucanthumLilium regaleLilium rosthorniiLilium sargentiae and Lilium sulphureum. The flowers are trumpet shaped, facing outward or somewhat downward, and tend to be strongly fragrant, often especially night-fragrant.”  Of these, both L. brownii and L. henryi are used for food.

On the other hand oriental hybrids “are based on hybrids within Lilium section Archelirion,specifically Lilium auratum and Lilium speciosum, together with crossbreeds from several species native to Japan, including Lilium nobilissimum, Lilium rubellum, Lilium alexandrae, and Lilium japonicum. They are fragrant, and the flowers tend to be outward facing. Plants tend to be tall, and the flowers may be quite large. The whole group are sometimes referred to as “stargazers” because many of them appear to look upwards”

I’ve never tasted hybrid lilies, but maybe I should as two of the asiatics and all the 6 oriental species involved are eaten in Japan…most importantly L. auratum which is cultivated for markets on a field scale, the others mainly foraged I think! I wonder if anyone has hybridised lilies for food rather than beauty….an interesting project for someone perhaps?

Edimentalilies

I’ve been enjoying my edimental lilies this week and eating the flowers, both as salad and in last night’s tempura!

More about edible lily bulbs in the following entries on my web site:
http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=8614
http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?page_id=2614
http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?page_id=2207

Lily-chufa-parsley stir fry

Tonight’s dinner was a lily – chufa – parsley stir-fry (chinese style) with buckwheat noodles…

Lily = bulbs of Lilium martagon (Martagon lily), an important forest garden source of carbohydrate, liking the shady conditions of deciduous woodlands

Chufa – the delicious tubers of the grass Cyperus esculentus

Fasciated Martagon Lily

From Wikipedia : Fasciation (pronounced /ˌfæʃiˈeɪʃən/, from the Latin root meaning “band” or “stripe”), also known as cresting, is a relatively rare condition of abnormal growth in vascular plants in which the apical meristem (growing tip), which normally is concentrated around a single point  and produces approximately cylindrical tissue, instead becomes elongated perpendicularly to the direction of growth, thus, producing flattened, ribbon-like, crested, or elaborately contorted tissue”

This deviant martagon lily (Lilium martagon) turned up in my garden in 2014. Martagon lily have one of the best tasting lily bulbs, and is a good edible for the forest garden as they are shade tolerant :)10374966_10152453461250860_4441261138567187365_n10418896_10152453461315860_6374752471051598322_n

 

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This is what happened when I ate it ;) I’ve now fully recovered :)

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