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Trees/or shrubs with edible leaves?

 
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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John Saltveit wrote:Rose of Sharon- Hibiscus Syriacus- has pretty, large flowers and edible leaves. I grow it for both.
John S
PDX OR



How is the flavor/texture of the leaves?
 
Author
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Hi Trevor, your listing are the best ones I know for cold climates. I find L. barbarum goji taste bad but L. chinense gojis are quite good. Jonathan and I recently got a very good edible-leaf mulberry which he will distribute through www.permaculturenursery.com in future years.

For warmer climates such options! Chipilin, chaya, baobab, moringa, katuk, nopale cactus, saltbush (A. halimus), many more I'm learning all the time.

Interestingly almost all managed by coppicing.
 
Steve Flanagan
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I planted wolfberries last year. I'm not sure which chinese species they are, but I didn't care for the flavor of the leaves.

I love Nopale, I have one cactus. I hope to have more in the future.

My permaculture and food forest garden projects are in their infancy, there is so much to do and so much to learn...
 
pollinator
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Location: northern California
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I see two or three different topics here which are related but also pretty different.
1. Just because one source (on the internet or otherwise) says something is edible, doesn't mean it's necessarily so. There are "apps" out there for wild mushrooms that you could kill yourself following!!
When I'm investigating a new plant and I have no firsthand (people I know) sources, I corroborate from at least two or three sources and check out any negative reports.....

2. Medicinal plants are not necessarily edible plants....taking a small amount of a plant, as a tea perhaps or otherwise, is a different thing than making a significant portion of a meal from that plant.

3. There are a lot of plants (and other things, for that matter)...that I call "famine foods". Sure, you can eat them, but would you want to? I think poplar leaves might fall into that category. They might make a good side dish when I cook my cat....eaten quickly while keeping a lookout for cannibals.... I think the original poster is interested in woody plant foliage that can become a significant part of the diet now, before desperation in any form strikes. I agree that linden, moringa, and rose-of-Sharon fall into this category.

4. All that said, I don't think sourwood (Oxydendrum) has been mentioned yet. The young shoots are good in salads, with a pleasant sour taste (hence the name), and it coppices readily, like linden. Also like linden, the blooms are wonderful for bees and honey and it is famous for this in Appalachia.....
 
gardener
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John Saltveit wrote:Rose of Sharon- Hibiscus Syriacus- has pretty, large flowers and edible leaves. I grow it for both.
John S
PDX OR



How is the flavor/texture of the leaves?

I like the flavor of the leaves. I believe that some leafy greens have a distinctive taste-say collard greens, spinach, grape leaves, sorrel, or basil. Many other leafy greens don't so much have a distinctive flavor, but taste like mild green leaves. I find them quite pleasant, and the texture soft and pleasant as well. Some people don't like vegetables at all. I wouldn't try to get advice on which vegetables to eat from them. I would probably eat Rose of Sharon leaves straight off the bush/tree by themselves for a few, or in another dish in a large quantity. A lot of research suggests that the best health outcome results not from eating huge pounds of one vegetable, but from a wide variety of many different vegetables.
John S
PDX OR
 
Posts: 166
Location: Yucatan Puebla Ontario BC
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:

TrevorNewman wrote:The silkworms love em, they've gotta be good!?





I'm definitely not going to eat any Ailanthus leaves based on that rationale.



Ya we should mention that they are toxic and will make you hallucinate if not prepared properly.
In the tropics we have Chaya leaves also toxic if not cooked but very good after cooking
 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
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Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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I love vegetables. I personally believe that variety is critical to health. There are such a wide range of phytochemicals in plants that promote a spectrum of health benefits, many of which are only recently being explored. The general public tends to think of only the recognized vitamins and minerals in plants, but at one time they were newly discovered components. Does that make sense?

Anyhow, I'm working on growing the widest of fruits and vegetables as possible.
 
Jeffrey Hodgins
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Location: Yucatan Puebla Ontario BC
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Steve Flanagan wrote:I planted wolfberries last year. I'm not sure which chinese species they are, but I didn't care for the flavor of the leaves.

I love Nopale, I have one cactus. I hope to have more in the future.

My permaculture and food forest garden projects are in their infancy, there is so much to do and so much to learn...



Um do you know the best way too reproduce the Nopal? Cut a mature pad and let it dry for a week then plant it. traditionaly they are planted vertically but I stand them up on their sides so the cut part is abouve the ground, less rotting that way
 
Steve Flanagan
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Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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I did that with a couple of the pads. They are a nice food source.
 
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Try katuk (Sauropus androgynus). It is by far my favorite perennial leafy green. You can eat it raw, fermented, or cooked in very large quantities. It grows very vigorously from cuttings, but doesn't tolerate freezes well.
 
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