Commelina cyanea also known as scurvy weed. Early Australian settlers ate it as a remedy to prevent scurvy. A green vegetable, tastes not to bad. Forms a dense ground cover but can be invasive if left to run. Looks very similar to Wandering Jew - Tradiscantia sp. It does tolerates a wide range of light intensities in my experience and will even set pretty blue flowers in the shade. Killed off by frost but regenerates from underground rhizomes when the weather warms up.
Tetragonia tetragonoides aka Warrigal Greens , New Zealand Spinach. Another green that saved many a sailor from scurvy. This one is a beauty. Attractive round cover. It is very hardy, tolerating even quiet deep shade, sea breezes, sand and clay soils. It is high in oxilates and is not real yummy raw but does come up a treat when cooked with at least one water change. IT is also will get bitten by frost but seems to come back without any problems.
The cool season crops like lettuce and spinach can be shade tolerant in the summer. I plant lettuce and spinach under a deciduous tree - they get plenty of sun until the leaves come on the tree - then they get shade and last longer than if they were in full sun.
Sometimes the answer is not to cross an old bridge, nor to burn it, but to build a better bridge.
For temperate climates this type of database allready exists on pfaf.org
so to prevent you a lot of work, i would take some time to check out their edibles database, they too are organized in categories of shade tolerant and shade loving. Even the type of shade, dappled shade or partial shade or full shade.
they are organized in many more categories by the way.
I dont know if your work will be double for temperate climate's in this respect. Maybe focus on other climates?
land and liberty at s.w.o.m.p. www. swompenglish.wordpress.com
No way to decide without knowing your climate, soil etc!
So the first thing is to find which places/people have the same climate as you, and then you can copy my info if you have a frost-free climate!
(if not, forget about patchouli I mention!)
You're right. Sorry about that. I live in USDA zone 9a. My soil is clay, naturally. I get some frost, sometimes snow. The snow rarely lasts more then a day, and it snows rarely more then a collective two weeks.
Was this list ever made? I've been searching all day for a list like this, and this seems to be the closest I've found to something that would actually be useful for city-dwellers who want to produce food indoors without any sunlight (north facing windows).
I was identifying some plants in my yard with black berries and identified it as Privet (Ligustrum) and was doing some research on it.
Just wanted to provide an update on the list from the 4th post on this thread listing Chinese privet as a potential edible. The fruit is actually listed by the USDA as toxic to humans.
"All species of Ligustrum (privet) produce fruit toxic to humans that cause such symptoms as nausea, headache, abdominal pain, vomitting, diarrhea, weakness, and low blood pressure and body temperature." Chinese Privet
Here is another source from NC State University listing both the fruit and leaves as toxic to humans. Ligustrum Vulgare
Just wanted to update this old thread in case somebody thought privet was edible.
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I think it would be useful to make a list for the edibles, that can be grown indoors or outside with no direct sun at all. For people in the cities in many cases that is all they have. Of course, sprouts is the first and they are ready in just a few days. We always grow some sunflower microgreens ner the window for many years now. I find them tobe lower maintenance than sprouts that need to be washed twice a day.
Maybe I missed them on the long lists, but don't forget potatoes! Because they are grown in big open fields commercially, they somehow got the reputation of needing sun, but, like many plants that spread by tubers, they thrive in shade. In the Southeast Alaska rainforest, where cloud cover made even the "full sun" areas pretty shady compared to the rest of the US, we grew potatoes successfully in areas of only 1/2 sun. So in California, I give them shade most of the day.
Rhubarb is the same story. It wants LOTS of nitrogen, but doesn't need or want much sun. All the rhubarb plants I have seen in full sun have been stunted--they only develop those big long succulent stalks in shade.
Most perennial vegetables will grow in shade,especially Caucasus Mt Spinach. Quail Seeds has a good selection.
Currants are especially shade-tolerant; my experience, however, is that while blackcurrants prefer part shade, redcurrants will bear in full shade.
This is a complex issue. The potatoes in SE Alaska is interesting, because Jamie mentioned cloudy, which is different than shady. A lot of UV rays still penetrate high clouds (different than rain clouds). So I think potatoes will grow under cloudy skies but not sure about too much shade. I have them in several spots, and those that get the most sun do best. And I find exactly the opposite with my rhubarb, go figure!
Back to the shade issue in general, there’s not only climate and moisture levels to consider, but I’m also discovering some plants prefer morning sun, some afternoon sun, and then the ones which like either full sun or mostly shade. I was surprised to see blackberries and blueberries on the list, as I’ve never seen either growing in the shade in the wild, but rather in full sun. Green peppers will do okay in shade, but I find red bell won’t ripen without ample sun. Tomatoes like steady heat (80 is perfect) around the clock, and don’t seem to ripen without lots of sunlight. Summer squash will do okay in partial shade (but needs warm soil, which- back to climate- in many places requires a lot of sun) but I’m not sure winter squash will. I’m in zone 3, which means half of what I grow needs a greenhouse, and about 30% of the rest could also do well in one.
The Practical Plants website is super helpful with a lot of this stuff.