We are very pleased to have plants from Edulis nursery (www.edulis.co.uk) for sale at the festival. There are some rare unusual edible perennial plants – you can see the list below:
ARCTIC RASPBERRY – RUBUS ARCTICUS
Known in Russian as “berry of princes” is a low growing clump-forming thornless raspberry with attractive deep pink flowers in May/June followed by pineapple flavoured red berries which are ripe in August. Unlike the more common raspberries varieties, the arcticus only grows to about 30 cm. It is a hardy perennial which is able to withstand cold winters and frost. Very attractive as a low maintenance crop in northern regions. It grows well in acidic soil rich in organic matter, so growing it with herbs and ground cover plants that tolerate acidic conditions, like strawberries, parsley, garlic, fennel or rosemary, could work well.
NEPALESE RASPBERRY – RUBUS NEPALENSIS
A hardy evergreen groundcover plant growing to about 10 cm. It flowers in June/July with masses of white flowers and gives light red tasty raspberries through July and August. It grows well in sun or part-shade. Like the arctic raspberry the nepalese raspberry is known to survive cold winters and it is not picky about the kind of soil it prefers to grow in, although it does prefer a well-drained soil and you will need to keep an eye out for it during spells of very hot weather as well.
JAPANESE WINEBERRY – RUBUS PHOENICOLASIUS
This is a decorative plant with clusters of small white flowers surrounded by bristly red calyces in the summer months followed delicious shiny red/orange berries that ripen in late summer to early autumn, nicely bridging the gap between summer- and winter-ripe raspberries. It grows well in sun or part-shade and and spreads by shooting underground stems. It will grow very fast to a height of about 2-3 meters. It is very vigorous grower so pruning and training should be expected.
Originally from N. Taiwan this beautiful evergreen climber will add a stunning deep purple or maroon (pink?) flavour to the side of a building or fence with its delicate vanilla-scented flowers that droop from 5-lobed foliage in a grape like fashion. It flowers in early summer and produces sausage shaped purplish edible fruit if growing conditions are right. The akebia thrives in well drained soil, full sun or half-shade and will grow to a maximum height of 5 meters.
YOKE-LEAVED AMICIA – AMICIA ZYGOMERIS
A ‘must have’ foliage plant. This enigmatic woody based bushy perennial will grow to a height of 1.5 to 2.5 meters with a spread of a bit more than a meter. Distinctive purple veined stipules clasp round the stems and its leaves are heart shaped. The lovely pea-like flowers that appear in autumn are yellow and purple in colour. The amicia should be planted south or west facing in full sun and preferably in a sheltered area of your garden in well drained fertile soil. It will tolerate temperatures down to -10° C but it is recommended to mulch in frost prone areas in preparation for winter and in late winter prune out frost damaged growth.
RAVENSWING – ANTHRISCUS SYLVESTRIS
A hardy biennial which self-seeds easily unless you prevent it by removing the wilted flower heads. It is a hardy plant that grows well in sun or part-shade and in most types of soil. It will grow 1 meter tall with a near black foliage rising to dainty umbels of tiny white flowers that show themselves in May through July. In autumn, cut it back to just above ground level and mulch generously around the roots. Although not everyone agrees on the taste, the leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, and the roots can be eaten as well if cooked.
JAPANESE ASPARAGUS ‘SUN KING’ – ARALIA CORDATA
An upright perennial with golden-yellow leaves. It grows to about 2 meters tall. The young shoots are lemon-flavoured and are common in Japanese and Korean cuisine where they are blanched and used in salads and soups. It prefers a moist but well drained soil and grows well in loamy, clay or sandy earth. Plant in a sheltered area in full sun or part-shade. If grown in shade the leaves will turn a lime-green. Tiny white flowers emerge in late summer followed by inedible purple berries in autumn.
HARDY SHADE GINGER – CAUTLEYA GRACILIS
A perennial herbaceous plant that thrives in shade or part-sun. Dark green in spring and flowers yellow in summer. This is an exotic looking plant that grows to about 60 cm and is very low maintenance. It will survive a few degrees frost but to protect from harsh winters make sure to plant rhizomes deep (15 cm) in spring in a moist humus-rich soil. Water regularly in dry periods and protect with dry mulch in winter.
BALTIC PARSLEY – CENOLOPHIUM DENUDATUM
Deciduous perennial with finely divided, triangular leaves and domed, compound umbels of many small white flowers. It grows 60-150 cm tall. This is a low maintenance plant that bees and butterflies will be happy to find in your garden. Grow in any moist, but well-drained soil in sun or partial shade.
EVERGREEN SOLOMON’S SEAL – DISPOROPSIS PERNYI
A very hardy perennial evergreen ornamental plant with strong upright, dark-green stems that slowly form elegant colonies. Delicate bell-shaped white flowers appear in May and June carrying a lemon-nutmeg scent. Grows to about 40 cm tall and spreads 30-40 cm. Plant in partial shade in moist well drained soil and it can withstand very cold winters.
DAYLILLIES ‘FRAGRANT RETURNS’ – HEMEROCALLIS
A decorative and hardy perennial that tolerates many kinds of soil and produces elegant trumpet-like yellow flowers in summer. Individual flowers are short-lived but each plant produces many flowers throughout the flowering period. Grows 45 cm tall and spreads about 35 cm. Daylillies will flower faithfully year after year with minimal upkeep.
HOSTAS ‘GREEN ACRES’ – HOSTA
Decorative perennial with large heart-shaped green leaves with deeply impressed veins. Pale lavender flowers in mid-summer. Individual plants should be spaced about 30 cm apart in shade or part-sun. It grows slowly to about 75 cm tall and can be expected to live about 10 years under ideal conditions. Tolerates a variety of soil types but should not be allowed to dry out.
HIMALAYAN RHUBARB – RHEUM AFF. AUSTRALE
A very large variety growing 2-3 meters tall and 2 meters wide. It is a hardy perennial that grows well in loamy to heavy clay soils, moist and well drained. Should be planted in full sun or part-shade. The stems are eaten like common rhubarb producing a less fibery food if light is blocked out around the stems. This variety is said to have a hint of apple to its taste.
COMMON MYRTLE – MYRTUS COMMUNIS
An evergreen shrub or small tree that grows about 5 meters tall. Glossy emerald green foliage and leaves produce a fragrant essential oil reminiscent of eucalyptus. Plant outdoors in late spring in a well-drained sheltered position to give it a chance to establish its roots before winter sets in. Myrtle is an amazing plant that will really add scent and sparkle to your winter garden.
CLOVER ‘DRAGON’S BLOOD’ – TRIFOLIUM REPENS
This selection of the common creeping clover is a handsome edging or groundcover plant. The foliage is light green and creamy-white, then splashed with a blood-red marking. White flowers appear briefly in early summer. A unique filler plant in tubs or mixed containers. Because of its vigorous habit, do not plant next to slow-growing alpine plants that might get smothered. Trim back hard in midsummer to rejuvenate the foliage, if plants begin to look scruffy. Easily divided in spring or fall. Evergreen in mild winter regions.
CLOVER ‘PURPURASCENS QUADRIFOLIUM’ – TRIFOLIUM REPENS
Brilliant dark purple, four-leafed clover. The leaves are edged with fresh green and white flowers emerge in summer. Prefers full sun, or partial shade and well drained soil or compost. A hardy plant which should survive normal winter conditions outside, especially if protected from the hardest frosts.
CLOVER ‘DARK DEBBIE’ – TRIFOLIUM REPENS
Dark brown/black leaves and white flowers. Prefers full sun, or partial shade and well drained soil or compost. A hardy plant which should survive normal winter conditions outside, especially if protected from the hardest frosts.
SOCIETY GARLIC – TULBAGHIA VIOLACEA
A strong growing rhizomatous perennial that will reach 50 cm in height. Grey-green leaves and fragrant pale-purple flowers in large terminal umbels which bloom in summer and early autumn. Grows well in any moderately fertile, well-drained, humus-rich, loamy soil. Protect in colder areas with a deep dry mulch over winter
ROSY BLUE VERVAIN – VERBENA HASTATA ROSEA
An upright perennial that flowers for several months through summer and autumn. Delicate, branching spires carry flower spikes that bear small, clear pink flowers in summer and autumn months. Grow in a moist but well-drained moderately fertile soil in full sun. Will grow to about 1 meter.
JAPANESE HARDY GINGER – ZINGIBER MIOGA
A robust and fast-growing edible that gives a tropical look to temperate, perennial gardens. Shoots emerge from the ground from April to mid June, and then rapidly attain full height. For a month, starting in early September, mioga ginger flowers appear at ground level. The unopened flower buds are edible and commonly eaten in miso soup, tempura, as a garnish, and in a number of other recipes. The young spring shoots which have a light ginger taste are also eaten, especially in sushi. Older shoots, along with the rest of the plant (like tomato and potato foliage), are poisonous, so dine with care. Hardy to -16°C. Excessive soil wetness in winter should be avoided.
JAPANESE PEPPER – ZANTHOXYLUM PIPERITUM
A deciduous aromatic spiny shrub reaching about 3 meters with 15cm-long leaves composed of many oval, aromatic, glossy, dark green leaflets which turn yellow in autumn. Sprays of small, yellow-green flowers are produced in early summer, followed by tiny, red fruit that split open to reveal black seeds known as ‘japanese pepper’. Plant in full sun.
JAPANESE PEPPER (PURPLE) – ZANTHOXYLUM PIPERITUM
A deciduous aromatic spiny shrub reaching about 2.5 meters with purple aromatic shiny foliage. Sprays of small, yellow-green flowers are produced in early summer, followed by tiny, red fruit that split open to reveal black seeds known as ‘japanese pepper’. Plant in full sun.
CHINESE CELERY/ JAPANESE PARSLEY ‘FLAMINGO’ – OENANTHE JAVANICA
Native to Korea, this interesting foliage plant is related to parsley. The leaves are large and lacy, light green dappled with cream and lavender pink. A fast-growing groundcover that roots wherever it touches the ground, but can be easily controlled by clipping back the runners. Plant near water in muddy clay soil or in moist soil in full sun or part-shade.
CHINESE CHIVES – ALLIUM CHINENSE
Hardy evergreen clump-forming bulb with attractive deep mauve flowers in Sept/Oct. Leaves used like chives. Bulbs can be eaten raw or cooked. A very versatile edible. Plant in full sun and well-drained soil although it will tolerate poorer soil. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes and a bad companion for alfalfa.
A lovely mid-sized allium bearing round umbels of purple-blue flowers in spring and early summer. Best in good soil in a well-drained spot. It will self-seed if you are lucky! Sow seeds at any time covering them with compost or grit 5mm deep, keeping the seed pot in a cool, well-lit spot outdoors. Artificial heat is not needed and can prevent germination so be very patient as many species will only germinate in the spring after chilling or freezing in the moist seed tray in the winter. Grow on individual seedlings in small pots until of sufficient size to be planted out.
CHIVES – ALLIUM SCHOENOPRASUM ‘BLACK ISLE BLUSH’
A very attractive hardy and versatile chive! ‘Black Isle Blush’ forms a dense clump of erect, narrowly cylindrical leaves (which are edible) and, in summer, compact heads of small, light mauve-pink flowers with a darker centre. Thrives in full sun or part-shade and is very forgiving of most types of soil.
KANZU LEEK – ALLIUM CYATHOPHORUM VAR. FARRERI
Perfect for a scree or rockery, forming a tight clump of grassy leaves about 20 cm high, with nodding clusters of deep violet-purple flowers with sharply-pointed petals in summer. Sow seeds at any time covering them with compost or grit 5mm deep, keeping the seed pot in a cool, well-lit spot outdoors. Artificial heat is not needed and can prevent germination so be very patient as many species will only germinate in the spring after chilling or freezing in the moist seed tray in the winter. Grow on individual seedlings in small pots until of sufficient size to be planted out.
ALLIUM HOOKERI ‘ZORAMI’
Herbaceous perennial with a strong onion or garlic scent. A wonderful long flowering allium producing masses of white drumstick flowers. Collected from Mizoram, India. White flowers with strong erect flower stems. Flowers all the way into December. Leaves are used in Asian cooking. Plant in a sheltered spot in full sun in any kind of soil and it is a fairly hardy plant.
CABBAGE THISTLE – CIRSIUM OLERACEUM
Perennial growing to about 1 meter. It flowers from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera, beetles. Noted for attracting wildlife. It prefers moist or wet soil in full sun or part shade. Young leaves can be cooked and used as a vegetable.
JAPANESE PARSLEY, MITSUBA – CRYPTOTAENIA JAPONICA F. ATROPURPUREA
Perennial purple parsley. Good for shade. Leaves used raw in salads. Roots can be blanched and sauteed in oil.
CAROLINA ALLSPICE – CALYCANTHUS FLORIDUS
Aromatic medium-sized shrub with showy red-brown flowers. Sunny well-drained position. Aromatic bark used a cinnamon substitute. USA.
CORNELIAN CHERRY – CORNUS MAS
Excellent shrub with masses of bright yellow flowers in late winter, followed by dark ruby red berries. These are eaten across Europe and into Asia. Similar to cranberries. These plants are from Georgian seed.
CHINESE MAHOGANY – TOONA SINENSIS
A hardy deciduous mahogany from China with large pinnate leaves and panicles of fragrant white flowers in July. Leaves used as vegetable in China and Vietnam. Garlic-flavour. Ht 20m China. Suitable for coppicing.
SZECHUAN OR SICHUAN PEPPER – ZANTHOXYLUM SIMULANS
The Szechuan Pepper is a large spiny deciduous shrub with pinnate leaves. Edible leaves and seed pods. Used in Chinese cooking. Ht 3m. China. It is also a good subject for a container, being easily pruned to shape in the winter.
CHILEAN GUAVA – UGNI MOLLINAE ‘BUTTERBALL’
Produces delicious red berries, much loved by Queen Victoria
CHILEAN GUAVA – UGNI MOLINAE ‘FLAMBEAU’
Evergreen pink variegated small shrub, producing china-white bells and excellent red berries with a resinous strawberry flavour. Zone 8.
CHILEAN GUAVA – UGNI MOLINAE ‘VARIEGATA’
Variegated form of the popular broad-leaved form. Attractive and equally good yields of red berries.
AUTUMN OLIVE – ELAEAGNUS UMBELLATA
Deciduous shrub growing to 4m with silvery leaves and masses of highly fragrant flowers in early summer. Followed by delicious orange fruit, that can be eaten raw or cooked. High in Vitamin C. China. Japan. If you only have one Elaeagnus plant this one.
HONEYBERRY – LONICERA CAERULEA VAR. ‘LARISSA’, ‘ERIN’
Upright small shrub, growing to 2 meters, very early in to flower (December-February) producing blue, oblong, edible excellent berries. Zone 2.
BLACK CHOKEBERRY – ARONIA VIKING
Excellent variety with good yields and sweet berries. Good autumn colour. Thrives in part-shade.
BLACK CHOKEBERRY – ARONIA MELANOCARPA ‘HUGIN’
Good autumn colour. Thrives in part-shade.