Mid Atlantic Gardening forum: Hardy Edible Evergreens

Page 1 of 6 • 1 2 3 4 5 6
Views: 1473, Replies: 110 » Jump to the end
Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
Image
EvergreenMike
May 27, 2016 4:26 PM CST
Too often, when I search for new varieties of edible plants, I find resources that cater exclusively to vegetable gardening; which are, for the most part, annuals. When limiting the search to perennials, I find that most well known plants are deciduous, or tropical/sub-tropical. I decided to start a thread to share the few edible evergreens I've found with everyone, and to hopefully see the list grow.

All plants listed below are at least marginally hardy to zone 7. (*) Denotes that the plant is marginally hardy or requires shelter/winter protection.

Low Growing/Groundcovers:
Alpine Strawberry (Fragaria Vesca)
Sweet Violet (Viola Odorata)
Wintergreen (Gaultheria Procumbens)
Lingonberry (Vaccinium Vitis-Idae)
Clove Pinks (Dianthus Caryophyllus)
Hyssop (Hyssopus Officinalis)
*Corsican Mint (Mentha Requienii)
Sorrel (Rumex Acetosa)
Onion/Garlic/Chives (Allium Species)
Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum Nobile)
*Myrteola Nummularia (Cranberry Myrtle)
Cranberry (Vaccinium Macrocarpon)
Thyme (Thymus Species) Special Note: thyme varieties are incredibly diverse in flavor and many are evergreen. I've found Rose scented, lavender, lemon, orange balsam, nutmeg, and common thyme.

Shrubs:
Salal (Gaultheria Shallon)
Evergreen Huckleberry (Vaccinium Ovatum)
*Tea Olive (Osmanthus Fragrans)
Silverberry (Elaeagnus Ebbingei)
*Chinese Tea (Camellia Sinensis)
*Gardenia (Gardenia Jasminoides)
*Coffeeberry (Rhamnus Californica)
Sage (Salvia Officinalis)
Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)
*Rosemary (Rosnarinus Officinalis)
*Holly Leafed Redberry (Rhamnus Crocea Ilicifolia)
Grape Holly (Mahonia Species)
*Bayberry/Wax Myrtle (Myrica Cerifera)


Trees:
*Yaupon Holly (Ilex Vomitoria)
Tea Oil Camellia (Camellia Oleifera)
*Bay Laurel (Laurus Nobilis)
Juniper (Juniperus Communis)
Southern Magnolia (Magnolia Grandiflora)
Pine Nuts (Pinus Species)
Japanese Chinquapin (Castanopsis cuspidata)
*Kousa Dogwood (Cornus Angustata)
*Bay Laurel (Umbellularia Californica)


Thumb of 2016-05-27/EvergreenMike/2058e4

[Last edited by EvergreenMike - Jun 25, 2016 7:32 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1162342 (1)
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
Image
sallyg
May 27, 2016 7:32 PM CST
great list. I don't think of evergreens and edible together, but you've opened my eyes.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
Image
Catmint20906
May 27, 2016 7:40 PM CST

Moderator

great list, Mike! Thumbs up
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
Butterflies
Image
ssgardener
May 27, 2016 9:43 PM CST
Great list, Mike!

Oregano is sometimes evergreen for me.

I have a southern highbush blueberry that somehow stayed evergreen this past winter. But the northern highbush lost all its leaves.

Bay trees (not sweetbay, but bay leaves used for cooking) are marginally hardy in zone 7. I've heard of gardeners in protected parts of DC growing them outdoors.
Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
Image
EvergreenMike
May 28, 2016 6:34 AM CST
What oregano varieties are evergreen? Most of my research turned up with relatively hardy die back perennials.

@ssgardener: Bay is a great addition. I recall seeing one growing at the national arboretum in DC. Though, I think I'll add a notation to show which plants in the list are marginally hardy.
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
Butterflies
Image
ssgardener
May 28, 2016 11:14 AM CST
Mike, some of my oregano die down but others stay evergreen. The varieties have all intermingled and Im afraid I have no idea which is which!
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
Image
sallyg
May 30, 2016 8:03 AM CST
so, Mike, are you primarily an evergreen nut? Just wondering. Do you enjoy other evergreens?
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
Image
EvergreenMike
May 30, 2016 10:14 AM CST
@sallyg: Absolutely! I dread the idea of not being able to enjoy my garden all year round. I'm a bit of a plant scholar, and so I really enjoy the challenge of discovering less common plants to create diverse, all evergreen landscapes. I do enjoy other evergreens, though I'm not particularly fond of conifers.

I grew up on a farm, and especially enjoyed harvesting things that I planted. It's such a rewarding and therapeutic process, not to mention tasty food! I was looking to grow my own tea, when I found that Chinese tea originates from an evergreen shrub. That sparked my idea for an entirely edible, evergreen landscape. I love the idea of growing my own fruits, herbs, and tea to use in my recipes.

My first project since we moved to the new house last year, was a Mediterranean inspired, potted herb garden on the deck. From the kitchen, the garden can be seen through a large bay window. So I really wanted something to inspire me while I was cooking. The garden includes a sempervivum trough; thyme and dwarf sage in a window trough; a bucket of clove pinks as the table centerpiece; rosemary, hyssop, lavender, and berggarten sage in wood buckets and terracotta pots at the corners on the ground. All evergreen and edible! (Though I likely won't eat the sempervivum)

Thumb of 2016-05-30/EvergreenMike/a6b7cc


Thumb of 2016-05-30/EvergreenMike/904b84


Thumb of 2016-05-30/EvergreenMike/06df3e




Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
Image
sallyg
May 30, 2016 12:01 PM CST
that's a lovely deck setting!

It's hard for many gardeners (me included) to think of evergreen and conifer as two separate classifications. Though I well know about hollies and lots of other evergreens.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
Butterflies
Image
ssgardener
May 31, 2016 1:37 PM CST
What about evergreen daylilies? The roots and blooms are supposedly edible. Some of my daylilies don't die down in the winter.

Isn't gin made from juniper berries? I wonder what other berry producing shrubs or trees are evergreen.
Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
Image
EvergreenMike
May 31, 2016 4:37 PM CST
ssgardener said:What about evergreen daylilies? The roots and blooms are supposedly edible. Some of my daylilies don't die down in the winter.

Isn't gin made from juniper berries? I wonder what other berry producing shrubs or trees are evergreen.


Juniper is definitely edible. Common juniper seems to be the species most worth eating, though it seems some others are technically not toxic. Daylilies can be edible, but many can be toxic as well. The main listed edible species, hemerocallis fulva, goes dormant in winter.
I've also added Magnolia Grandiflora. Quite a few magnolias are supposedly edible, but our native Southern Magnolia had the most information available on flavor and preparation. Supposedly, the petals are picked or eaten raw, and have flavor similar to ginger, with citrus notes.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
Image
sallyg
May 31, 2016 7:05 PM CST
my magnolia will bloom soon, I'll see how it tastes, It smells sweet and lemony.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
Image
EvergreenMike
Jun 1, 2016 1:45 PM CST
I think I found the evergreen oregano. Origanum Vulgare Hirtum (Greek Oregano). Anyone have any experience with this species?
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
Butterflies
Image
ssgardener
Jun 1, 2016 2:49 PM CST
Mike, my evergreen oregano is probably this one. It's really vigorous and about to take over my herb bed. It's mixed in with a hot and spicy variety.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
Image
sallyg
Jun 1, 2016 10:09 PM CST
Not sure what I have. I think it's somewhat evergreen but very thin, really grows well in spring. Time to cut in fact. Anyhoo, my friend way back cautioned me about which oregano is best, and I think I have true greek.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
Image
EvergreenMike
Jun 5, 2016 9:22 AM CST
Anyone have experience with Micromeria Douglasii (Yerba Buena)? It's a trailing west coast native used to make a mint flavored tea. I've read that it's evergreen and hardy to zone 7, but I'm curious how it would do in a mid Atlantic zone 7 garden. I'd especially like to know how it would look in winter. I've seen quite a few plants that are root hardy, but are only actually evergreen in no freeze zones.
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
Butterflies
Image
ssgardener
Jun 5, 2016 11:53 AM CST
Mike, I don't see opuntia on your list. Isn't the fruit edible? It's evergreen but sometimes semi evergreen.

No experience with Yerba buena.
Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
Image
EvergreenMike
Jun 5, 2016 1:04 PM CST
I've read that all opuntia are edible, but certain varieties are tastier than others. Spines are an issue too. I'd love to know of a tasty spineless variety though!
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
Butterflies
Image
ssgardener
Jun 5, 2016 1:08 PM CST
There's definitely a spineless variety. I've seen it for sale at Meadows! But no idea how tasty the fruit is.
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
Image
Catmint20906
Jun 5, 2016 4:18 PM CST

Moderator

EvergreenMike said:I think I found the evergreen oregano. Origanum Vulgare Hirtum (Greek Oregano). Anyone have any experience with this species?


I have some that has been happy growing at the sunny edge under one of my lilac trees. It blooms pale flowers in midsummer. Now that you mention it, it does stay green and visible over the winter, unlike most things which die back.

I don't grow my herbs to eat--I grow them to attract beneficial insects to the garden-- so I can't comment on flavor...

Here's a photo of it from late last July.

Thumb of 2016-06-05/Catmint20906/aedd03

"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso

Page 1 of 6 • 1 2 3 4 5 6

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Mid Atlantic Gardening forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Dianthus 'Nyewood Cream'"