Edible and Wild!

Purslane – growing and returning annually in my veggie garden. It stays pretty close to the ground. They are pest resistant. The leaves are juicy and pretty good in salads, but they are small so a little slow harvesting.

Hairy Cluster Vine – grows wild in the southeastern United States. It is growing and returning annually in my veggie garden. Climbs a trellis I think to 7 feet. The leaves can be cooked and eaten, says Prota, and they are big!

Amaranth – growing and returning annually in my veggie garden. Some varieties can get very large. Domestic varieties produce concentrated clusters of seeds. The seed and leaves are edible, but small. The cows and the bugs love it. Stems have nasty thorns, but the cows don’t care!

Mimosa leaves from the young plant, and flowers can be eaten. Don’t eat the seeds, as they contain a toxic amino acids!

Moringa – is a small tree that looks similar to Mimosa and is famous for having numerous uses. It dies off every winter if you have a freeze, but grows back.

Nettles – The common stinging nettle, found all over the world, is one of the most nutritious vegetables. It really excels. You would not think so, since if you have ever brushed up against it you know it stings and makes a bit of a rash. But you just boil it up like spinach (no need to boil it twice or anything), and it is delicious. It is actually my favorite greens! I have heard that it likes borders between one vegetative cover and another, and it likes rich soil. As the season progresses, keep cutting the tops of the plants. They are tender and cook up nicely. It is a perennial, so you should only have to plant it once.

Taro Root and Elephant Ears – One needs to be careful with Taro because it has to be cooked properly to be edible. Properly fermented and cooked taro root is great!


Elephant ear can be edible, too, but it yields much less. If you can grow elephant ear you can grow taro in the same location and get 10 times the root and it’s a lot better for you. So I wouldn’t grow elephant ear to eat, but if I saw it growing I would know it’s an ideal spot to suit taro/dasheen.

Here’s a webpage discussing how to test for edibility: http://www.eattheweeds.com/is-wild-taro-in-florida-edible-2/

What would you like to grow? ZipCodeZoo gives the human uses of plants. Or ask Big Brother! Or check Find The Data. Vines of MS has good drawings but includes all vines in MS irrespective of edibility.

Morning Glories (Ipomoea. Some Morning Glories are edible and some are not!) And I think sweet potato is also a morning glory. I have White Star Potato growing in my garden. I don’t know how it got there, but it’s very pretty.

White Star Potato (Ipomoea Iacunosa) is an invasive vine. Leaf is light green with dark border. The whitestar potato (I. lacunosa) was traditionally eaten by some Native Americans, such as the Chiricahua Apaches.


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