Tag Archives: Caucasian spinach

Around the World in Oslo!

Honorata Gajda from the Norwegian Botanical Association introduces!
Udo, Aralia cordata, my largest vegetable!
I had far too little time in the garden…but I did manage to say hello to the vigorous Hablitzia (at the back) and neighbour Good King Henry / Stolt Henrik at the front, two of the 80 plants in my book Around the World in 80 plants (the book has a picture of this Hablitzia later in the summer!)!

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 :)


Norwegian sansai

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)


Hablitzia and the few-flowered leeks

Pots of Hablitzia seedlings and Allium paradoxum (few-flowered leek)
Pot of Hablitzia seedlings and Allium paradoxum (few-flowered leek)
Allium_paradoxum_and Hablitzia
As seen late March in a milder winter, Allium paradoxum grows next to my Hablitzia, a “weedy” onion further south, it hasn’t spread here.
The mother Hablitzia as it is today, 6th March 2016!

In December’s very mild weather there was mass germination of Hablitzia around my oldest plant next to the house. This has happened before, but none of the seedlings made it through the colder weather afterwards. Therefore, I dug them up and transplanted into pots and have had them in my cool but frost free porch ever since. They haven’t grown much, but it seems I dug up some bulbs of Allium paradoxum with them as they are growing away well, so I will be eating them in tonight’s salad!

Hablitzia anno 2001!

I just discovered that Hablitzia was one of the ingredients in my first world record salad in 2001…. I had received both cuttings and seeds from Mona Hellberg in Alunda, Sweden in May 2000 after my first attempt from seed had failed the year before. Therefore, the leaves I used in that salad were from a plant about a year old, possibly the first time I tried them. Interestingly, I wrote in the recipe you’ll find in the link that I used “steamed leaves of Hablitzia tamnoides”, suggesting that I was unaware that they could be eaten raw!
Also, looking at the email correspondence with Mona Hellberg, I see that I’d told her that the Hablitzia seedlings (from my first attempt) had been eaten by a slug! I’ve never had problems with slugs since then….