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May 28, 2016 12:45 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.
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)
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.
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 (Rosmarinus Officinalis)
*Yaupon Holly (Ilex Vomitoria)
Tea Oil Camellia (Camellia Oleifera)
*Bay Laurel (Laurie Nobilis)
May 28, 2016 7:16 PM CST
| Mike! Fine job. I'm another zone 7 gardening guy.
I've never thought to grow bay laurel because I was sure it wouldn't last. Have you had success?
Rosemary is definitely iffy. Yet I have had it winter over on occasion.
Thyme and sage are my winners.
May 29, 2016 11:44 AM CST
|@Whitebeard: I haven't personally tried bay laurel yet, but the national arboretum in DC had a rather large specimen that had clearly made it through a few winters. I think the trick would be to create an ideal microclimate for it. As for rosemary, I've had consistent success with the hardy cultivar 'Arp.'|
May 29, 2016 12:08 PM CST
|Good to know on both counts. I'll keep an eye out for Arp.|
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
Jun 9, 2016 7:43 PM CST
|Yaupon is EDIBLE? Shudder. What in the world is it good for? We have so much we dont count it for anything except removal.
I grow 3 rosemarys, tuscan blue, prostate, an unknown that was in a shape and sprouted a twig of. May be Spice Island
Jun 9, 2016 8:17 PM CST
|@kittriana, very nice rosemary! Yaupon is used for tea. It's closely related to Ilex Paraguariensis, the plant used to make Yerba Mate. Fun fact: it's the only caffeinated North American plant. It's best prepared as a black tea, by drying and roasting the leaves before steeping. The flavor is said to be superior to Chinese tea.|
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 8b)
Jun 9, 2016 9:37 PM CST
|Thats one I did not know- wish I could bless you with ours- can't keep it down- nor behind the fence!
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