Vegetables and Fruit forum: Edible Evergreens for zone 7

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Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
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EvergreenMike
May 28, 2016 12:50 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)
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)


Trees:
*Yaupon Holly (Ilex Vomitoria)
Tea Oil Camellia (Camellia Oleifera)
*Bay Laurel (Laurie Nobilis)
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
May 29, 2016 8:26 AM CST
A good idea for a thread!
Rhubarb
Asparagus
are perennial veges , but not evergreen over winter?

dr_duke
May 30, 2016 4:14 AM CST
I don't think the Yaupon is edible. Some Native Americans, such as the Choctaw, made a tea from the twigs and roots to get a caffeine rush, but it makes you sick and throw up. I don't think anyone makes this tea any more. These plants do attract lots of birds that eat the berries.
Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
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EvergreenMike
May 30, 2016 7:47 AM CST
@dr_duke: Yaupon Holly makes a delicious tea that is in no way purgative. It's a close relative of Ilex Paraguariensis, used to make yerba mate tea. The Native Americans did have a ceremony in which they brewed a disturbingly potent batch of tea that all the warriors would drink; the last one to purge was considered to have the greatest strength and constitution, and was therefore given the most difficult mission. The purging associated with the ceremony was most likely caused by the combination of fasting, non-stop dancing, and over dosing on caffeine. In the late 1800's, yaupon was positioned to take it's place in the international tea trade. The naming Ilex Vomitoria was a strategic move by opposition to put people off the plant as a consumable. The berries are poisonous to people, but the birds love them. You can find information online about different ways of drying and roasting the leaves for use as tea.

dr_duke
May 30, 2016 3:31 PM CST
Dear Mike, I will pass on the yaupon tea.

It is strange that only the white men know our customs and what our ancestors did. None of us ignorant, superstitious savages had enough sense to understand what we were doing, so we had to rely on the white men to tell us what we did.
Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
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EvergreenMike
May 30, 2016 7:26 PM CST
dr_duke said:Dear Mike, I will pass on the yaupon tea.

It is strange that only the white men know our customs and what our ancestors did. None of us ignorant, superstitious savages had enough sense to understand what we were doing, so we had to rely on the white men to tell us what we did.


This is a thread about edible evergreens. Yaupon is one of them, your personal preferences aside.

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