Tried and tested


Latin name Common name Parts used Life cycle, notes
Aegopodium podagraria ground elder leaf stems herb per
Agastache foeniculum anise hyssop leaves herb per, effectively annual here, self seeds well
Alliaria petiolata garlic mustard roots, leaves, flowers, young seed pods biennial
Allium ampeloprasum babingtonii Babington’s leek bulbs, stems, leaves, bulbils herb per
Allium cernuum nodding onion, prairie onion leaves, flowers herb per
Allium cepa proliferum tree onion bulbs, leaves, bulbils herb per
Allium fistulosum welsh onion bulbs, leaves, flowers herb per
Allium moly golden garlic flowers herb per
Allium sativum garlic bulbs, shoots herb per
Allium sativum ophioscordon serpent garlic (hardneck garlic) bulbs, shoots, bulbils herb per
Allium senescens broadleaf chives leaves, flowers herb per, flowers have a strong onion flavour
Allium tuberosum garlic chives leaves, flowers herb per
Allium schoenoprasum chives leaves, flowers herb per
Allium ursinum wild garlic bulbs, leaves, flowers, seeds herb per
Allium victorialis alpine leek, victory onion bulb, flowers, leaves herb per
Amelanchier alnifolia saskatoon fruit large shrub
Amelanchier canadensis juneberry fruit tree
Apium graveolens wild celery leaves ann/bi
Aralia cordata udo shoots herb per
Armoracia rusticana horse radish root herb per
Aronia melanocarpa chokeberry fruit shrub
Asphodeline lutea king’s spear leaves, flowers herb per
Auricularia auricula-judae jelly ear fungus fruiting bodies fungus
Barbarea verna American land cress leaves ann/bi
Beta vulgaris maritima sea beet leaves ann/bi
Brassica oleracea botrytis aparagoides 9-star perennial broccoli leaves, immature flowers short-lived per
Brassica oleracea var. ramosa Daubenton’s kale leaves, shoots per
Bunias orientalis Turkish rocket leaves herb per
Campanula persicifolia peach-leaved bellflower flowers herb per
Chenopodium bonus-henricus Good King Henry leaves, shoots herb per
Claytonia (syn Montia) perfoliata pink purslane leaves annual
Claytonia (syn Montia) sibirica pink purslane leaves herb per
Conopodium majus pignut tubers herb per
Crambe cordifolia colewort young leaves, broccolis herb per
Cyperus esculentus chufa / nutsedge tubers herb per
Erythronium revoltum ‘Pagoda’ dog’s tooth violet bulbs herb per
Eruca sativa rocket leaves ann/bi
Foeniculum vulgare wild fennel leaves, stems, seeds per
Fragaria x ananassa cultivated strawberry fruit per
Fragaria vesca wild strawberry fruit per
Fragaria vesca ‘Semperflorens’ alpine strawberry fruit per
Gaultheria shallon shallon fruit shrub
Gaultheria mucronata pernettya fruit shrub
Glechoma hederacea ground ivy leaves herb per
Hemerocallis dumortieri day lily, copper lily flowers herb per
Hemerocallis fulva day lily first leaves, flowers herb per
Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus yellow day lily first leaves, flowers herb per
Heracleum sphondylium hogweed leaves, flower buds, seeds herb per
Humulus lupulus dwarf hop shoot tips herb per climber
Lathyrus latifolia everlasting pea leaves herb per
Lentinula edodes shiitake fruiting bodies fungus
Lepidium latifolium dittander leaves herb per
Leycesteria formosa Himalayan honeysuckle fruit shrub
Lilium lancifolium var splendens tiger lily bulbs herb per
Ligusticum scoticum Scots lovage leaves herb per
Malus domestica apple fruit tree
Malva moschata musk mallow leaves, flowers herb per
Mentha aquatica water mint leaves herb per
Mentha spicata garden mint leaves herb per
Mentha x piperata ‘Chocolate mint’ chocolate mint leaves herb per
Mentha x piperata vulgaris peppermint leaves herb per
Myrrhis odorata sweet cicely leaves, seeds, roots herb per
Oreganum vulgare ‘Tomintoul’ Tomintoul oregano leaves herb per
Oxalis acetosella wood sorrel leaves herb per
Papaver somniferum opium poppy seeds (not resin!) ann/bi
Pastinaca sativa parsnip roots ann/bi
Petroselinum crispum parsley leaves biennial
Petroselinum crispum tuberosum Hamburg parsley roots biennial
Pleurotus ostreatus oyster mushrooms fruiting bodies fungus
Prunus cerasifera cherry plum fruit tree
Prunus domestica Victoria plum fruit tree
Prunus salicina Sumomo / Japanese plum fruit tree
Raphanus sativus radish leaves, flowers, seeds pods ann/bi
Rheum x hybridum rhubarb stems herb per
Ribes aureum golden currant, buffalo currant fruit shrub
Ribes nigrum blackcurrant fruit shrub
Ribes odoratum buffalo currant fruit shrub
Ribes rubrum red currant fruit shrub
Ribes uva-crispum gooseberry fruit shrub
Rosmarinus officinalis rosemary leaves per
Rubus ideaus raspberry fruit shrub
Rubus phoenicolasius Japanese wineberry shrub Just getting established, no fruit yet.
Rumex acetosa sorrel leaves herb per
Rumex patientia herb patience leaves, flower shoots herb per
Rumex scutatus buckler-leaved sorrel leaves herb per
Sanguisorba minor salad burnet, pimpinella leaves used as herb small perennial
Saponaria officinalis soapwort NOT EDIBLE – leaves and stems used for soap herb per
Satureja montana winter savoury leaves per
Sedum rupestre syn reflexum crooked yellow stonecrop leaves per
Sedum telephium orpine leaves herb per
Taraxacum officinale dandelion leaves herb per
Tilia cordata small-leaved lime leaves tree
Tragopogon porrifolius salsify leaves, immature flowers ann/bi
Vaccinium crosses blueberry fruit per
Vaccinium myrtilus blaeberry fruit per
Vaccinium ovatum box blueberry fruit shrub
Vaccinium vitis-idaea cowberry, lingonberry fruit per
Valerianella locusta lamb’s lettuce young plants ann/bi
Vicia faba broad bean leaves, seeds ann/bi
Viola riviniana wood violet leaves, flowers per
Viola riviniana ‘Purpurea’ purple wood violet leaves, flowers per
Wasabia japonica wasabi root, leaves herb per


8 thoughts on “Tried and tested

  1. I am creating a forest garden in my allotment. This is a great list. I shall try some, if not all. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I see you have huckleberries on the list! Are they quite easy to grow and do you get a lot of fruit?

        • Ah, that one. It’s pretty easy to grow: I grew mine from seed that I got from Future Foods (no longer in existence) but it also propagates pretty easily from suckers. It grows slowly but without any problems; it usually fruits heavily and it is a very attractive plant too. The drawbacks are that it isn’t the easiest to harvest, nor is it the tastiest of the Vacciniums. The difficulty in harvesting comes from the fact that the fruit are very small and don’t ripen all at the same time. The best way seems to be to let them all ripen, then just run your hand down the branch, causing a rain of little black fruits. You would have to net them to guarantee that the birds didn’t harvest them first though. The taste is pleasant but not in the league of blueberries or blaeberries/bilberries.

  3. I see you mention soapwort. My wife uses greenwill soapberry in the washing machine to wash clothes with as she is sensitive to detergents and it is natural. Has worked great. Have considered trying to grow the mukorossi tree that the fruit comes from but read where it takes 10 years to bear fruit. Thanks for the list! Will look over to see what I could grow in our alkaline soil.

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