Hablitzia roots have an astonishing number of shoots waiting to grow if you cut them down…I like to think that this is an adaptation to human grazing pressure, so that we can repeatedly harvest without killing the plants ;)
Root cuttings work to quickly multiply plants , just ensure you use a sharp knife and have at least one shoot on each root slice! See the pictures!
My article “Caucasian spinach: the unknown woodlander” was published by Permaculture Magazine 9 years ago in 2007 (see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?page_id=1984 and also my book Around the World in 80 plants). In the meantime this vegetable has become a popular perennial vegetable and forest garden plant grown by thousands around the world, and is perhaps the first new vegetable to become popular thanks to social media and the permaculture movement! At last the results of a project to analyse the nutrient content of this plant have been announced on our Friends of Hablitzia FB group by Leena Nurmi who carried out the work for her masters thesis in Finland! And the news is very good, confirming that Hablitzia (Caucasian Spinach) is not only a fantastic productive perennial vegetable but also is superior to spinach and New Zealand spinach nutritionally and for those who worry about oxalic acid and nitrates, both are within accepted limits!!
Time for a celebration
She writes: “Hello Stephen and other Hablitzia friends! Greetings from Finland. I have done my master’s thesis about Hablitzia “Hablitzia tamnoides – a new but old leafy vegetable of early summer: cold stratification of seeds and nutritional value of leaves”. Now I am writing a scientific article about the nutritional value of Hablitzia. Caucasian spinach contains particularly plenty of carotenoids, folates, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. Also many other nutritions were larger in Hablitzia than in spinach and New Zealand spianch. In my study the oxalic acid, nitrate, cadmium and lead contents did not outweigh the permissible threshold values. The seeds of Hablitzia need to be stratified either in a cold room or outside during winter in order to germinate. The highest germination rate was 52 %, recorded from the Tampere population stratified at +5 ºC in a cold room. The seeds of Tampere population were picked up in February and sown for stratification in the middle of March. In Finland Hablitzia grows even in Oulu, but wetness of soil kills the plant very easily.”
A full house of a mixed crowd of all ages, some 70 people, had turned up for my lecture at the Botanical Garden in Oslo despite the beautiful evening (we should have been outside) and the long holiday weekend! Thanks to the Norwegian Botanical Associtation and Natural History Museum for putting on this event and in particular Honorata Gajda.
Back home now after a night on the train…a fantastic week on the road, thanks to all the people who helped along the way….and some 60 books lighter :)
Almost 2 years ago on 29th April 2014, this quiche features perennial vegetables, starring Hablitzia / Stjernemelde, Allium victorialis / Seiersløk, Ground Elder / Skvallerkål, Stinging Nettle / Brennesle, Garlic / Hvitløk and homegrown chili, with a 100% wholemeal barley, rye and spelt crust, parmesan cheese and served with Jerusalem artichokes and Blue Congo potato and topped with dried with dried Alpine Bistort / Harerug bulbils!! Doesn’t get much better!!
Good to be back from Japan to Norwegian sansai (foraged vegetables)….
From top left, left to right: Angelica archangelica “Vossakvann”, various dandelions / løvetann (Taraxacum), Rumex patientia (patience dock/hagesyre), Garlic bulbil shoots (forced indoors), ground elder / skvallerkål, Rheum palmatum (petiole), Rumex acetosa (sorrel / engsyre), Myrrhis odorata (with root ; sweet cicely / spansk kjørvel), chervil / hagekjørvel, Campanula latifolia (giant bellflower / storklokke), horseradish / pepperrot ( shoot), Anredera cordifolia (Madeira vine; grown inside), Alliaria petiolata ( garlic mustard / løkurt), Hemerocallis (daylily/daglilje), Ranunculus ficaria (lesser celandine / vårkål), Urtica dioica (nettle / nesle), Allium senescens x nutans, Hablitzia tamnoides (Hablitzia, Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde)…made into a stir fry with soba (buckwheat pasta)