Edible perennials and self-seeding annuals

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' A list of edible perennials & self-seeding annuals, suitable for permaculture gardening, lazy gardening etc.

This list is UK based but many of the plants will be available in similar climates elsewhere.


Onion family

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) Herb. Will grow from seed, but quicker to grow from cuttings - dig up existing plants and split the roots. The purple flowers are also edible
Garlic chives (aka Chinese chives) (Allium tuberosum) Very similar to chives but with a mild garlic flavour
Ramsons (aka wild garlic) (Allium ursinum) Thrives in heavy shade. Looks quite different to regular garlic, with broad flat leaves and white flowers, has a mild garlic flavour
Welsh onion (Allium fistulosum) Larger than chives, of a similar size to spring onions but perennial. They grow in dense clumps up to 50cm tall, white bulb and red bulb varieties.
Everlasting onions (allium perutile). Often confused with Welsh onions in seed catalogues, these are a smaller, milder tasting variety.

Tree onion (aka Egyptian onion) (Allium cepa proliferum) Grows edible miniature onion-like bulblets above ground, leaves can also be eaten
Serpent garlic (aka Rocambole) (Allium sativum ophioscorodon) Produces leaves which can be eaten like chives and bulbils above ground like tree onions.

Brassica (cabbage) family

Nine star perennial broccoli Makes large cauliflower-like heads in spring. Cut the head off and use it, and smaller ones sprout on sideshoots. Don't allow the heads to flower or the plant will die. Leaves also edible


NB unfinished, I am planning to do some more work on this :)


Notes and references

See also

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Interwiki links

External links

  • [1] Plants for a future database of plants with edible/medicinal uses. Be aware they list eg plants which are only edible in small quantities/ after cooking /etc and read the details carefully before eating anything!

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