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Drought resistant tropical ornamental edibles/medicinals

 
pollinator
Posts: 270
Location: Haiti
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I can't help it. I like pretty stuff. Not only that, but the idea of planting stuff that looks like "just a flower" but which can be eaten, is appealing.

So I'm looking for suggestions. I have one lone little Canna lily seedling that I didn't manage to kill yet. I want to get a couple of sago palms. I have Roselle, pineapples, and these pretty woody, shrubby basil that hedge really nicely.

What are your favorite pretty edibles or medicinals?
 
gardener
Posts: 865
Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7A
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The Feijoa or Pineapple Guava is one I like.

https://ediblelandscaping.com/products/shrubs/Feijoa/FeijoaPineappleGuava.php

These grow in a wide range of conditions, have edible (like cotton candy) flowers and fruit.
Mine have taken drought, heat, freezing temperatures.

 
pollinator
Posts: 580
Location: South of Capricorn
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Pereskia aculeata is beautiful, has extraordinarily nutritious leaves, survives whatever you can throw at it (i was reading your other thread today about killing stumps and envisioned my Pereskias, or ora-pro-nobis as we call it, which have survived machetes, trampling, lime, leafcutter ants, and probably will be here with the cockroaches and Keith Richards when we all shuffle off this mortal coil).
It gets beautiful flowers and theoretically can fruit (we don't get hot enough here for it to fruit, by you it should).
It should not be horribly difficult to find, as it seems to be all over Latin America and the caribbean, under many different names.

It also is an amazingly dangerous thorny, invasive monster that will definitely keep your goats out. Managed correctly, it could be a beautiful and fabulous ally. Or it could be your nemesis, like on my little urban farm.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 8730
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I think cassava looks quite nice when you want something 6 ft tall. Sweet potato makes an attractive ground cover.

For an exotic jungle look, it's hard to beat monkey ladder vines and snuff box sea beans. Very strong support is needed.
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Geoff Lawton was the first picture with cassava on Google Images
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Someone mentioned Keith
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Sweet potatoes
 
Priscilla Stilwell
pollinator
Posts: 270
Location: Haiti
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Awesome suggestions! I'm investigating. Those beans . . . What the actual heck? Ha. A seed is going to weigh a couple of pounds!
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11364
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
739
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I second Sweet Potatoes as a beautiful edible ground cover.  In a warm climate you will even get the lovely Morning Glory flowers on the vines.

 
pollinator
Posts: 1559
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
530
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...Okinawan spinach is colorful and edible, though I'm not so fond of the flavor myself. It grows best for me in the shade.
...Society garlic has beautiful flowers, and the whole plant is edible. Once established, it survives droughts quite well.
...Stick oregano isn't all that flashy, but it blooms small white flowers and can be trimmed into a lovely bush.
...I think that rosemary is pretty.
...Chaya is always green and can be used as a hedge. I've never seen a flower on mine.
...Papaya tolerates drought though it doesn't thrive. Same for lilikoi (passionflower).
...Prickly Pear cactus, and it's cousins, can be oranmental and edible.

I have all the above on my homestead.
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 11364
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Garlic Chives - unkillable even in heat and drought, make nice white flowerheads which attract butterflies and pollinators.

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Posts: 525
Location: Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
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A few plants that provide colour, texture, and food:

Zingiber mioga (Myoga or Japanese Ginger)

Curcuma longa (Turmeric)

Elettaria cardamomum (Green or True Cardamom)

Banana's and Plantains - the smaller, sweeter varieties


 
Cris Bessette
gardener
Posts: 865
Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7A
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Priscilla Stilwell wrote:Awesome suggestions! I'm investigating. Those beans . . . What the actual heck? Ha. A seed is going to weigh a couple of pounds!



To make a pot of chile you need one bean. :-)
 
Su Ba
pollinator
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Just thought of another one as I picked some for dinner tonight--- Mexican oregano. I grow mine in the shade, where it tolerates drought quite nicely. When grown in full sun, it needs more water.
 
Priscilla Stilwell
pollinator
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Location: Haiti
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Su Ba wrote:Just thought of another one as I picked some for dinner tonight--- Mexican oregano. I grow mine in the shade, where it tolerates drought quite nicely. When grown in full sun, it needs more water.



I had an oregano plant given to me. Big fuzzy leaves. Propagates fairly easily, it seems. Strong beautiful scent and flavor. Not sure the variety. Haven't seen any flowers yet.
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