Gooseberries are perennial. There are multiple species, so you might want to adjust the Latin on that one. The ones we have growing in our woodlot are Missouri Gooseberry (Ribes missouriense). They'll grow in full or partial shade, but are much less productive in full shade.
Wes, thank you for those suggestions. I have moved Gooseberry to Perrenial Partial Shade, and have added your species. I have also added a few more species, as well as filling out some more scientific names. I feel there are many more shade tolerant herbs that can be listed.
I notice that several of the items listed in Deep Shade actually should be in in partial shade simply because that is where they will produce their best fruit.
Just because something like a Saskatoon, Blackberry, Alpine strawberry, Ginseng, Wasabi and wild Ginger can grow in deep shade (no direct sunlight hits the plant) doesn't mean that is the best place for them.
Wasabi needs partial sun and flowing water to grow best, Saskatoon (serviceberry), Blackberry, All the strawberry species, Ginseng and Wild Ginger all do best in the transition space from meadow to forest, this is an area of partial shade/ partial sun.
These plants will produce far less fruit in deep shade, if any. Grapes can survive in deep shade but they produce bitter, small sized fruits in those conditions.
Paw Paw trees must start out in deep shade, then they have to be able to reach for some "dappled shade" or part shade and in order for them to fruit they have to be able to get a minimum of 4 hours of sunlight.
Great point about notating which produce better fruit in only partial shade. I feel that it's also worthwhile to discuss the two different shade levels. For simplicity, I was thinking that the Heavy Shade gets around 3 hours of sunlight each day. The Partial Shade is then around 3 hours of shade each day. These are rough numbers, and are really variant with the climates and the microecology of individual planting locations. None of these are guaranteed anywhere, but a suggestion of plants to test or where to get ideas from.
The terminology that is used for these plantings is quite vague. There are many different levels of light let in by dappled overhead in different types of the day. I do think this is where we can build a compendium of people's experiences with each edible in their own plantings. I know that some have better production due to partial shade. Take chives for example. They do not bloom as much, and so can be harvested more often when planted in partial shade. I also think that shade improves the flavor of many vegetables, due to stress free periods of growing.
This could become a very difficult task to manage, if we were to try and include every bit of information about each plant. I feel a more prudent direction is to gather reports of successful shade plantings of a species, along with report on how it grew. Once proved feasible, it is then worthwhile for others to test it.
We will likely need to create a category to move edibles that are questionable into. These are the ones where there's doubt of shade tolerance. I also feel there should be some attention and notation if a species is able to go to seed in either heavy or partial shade. Growing seed of some crops in dappled environment could be a way to maximize optimal land for production growing. We also must caution ourselves from classifying something simply upon it's berry or fruit production. There are many plants that produce higher quality of new growth in the shade. Of course, if a plant produces zero edible parts in heavy shade, this should be notated and likely relegated down to partial shade status.
I totally agree with your assessment of this task William.
I have been researching planting Ginseng on my north facing slope, this is the normal site where you can find wild ginseng growing.
The shade limits of ginseng is Deep shade with about 2 hours of dappled sun light getting to the forest floor. I've never found any growing where there is no sun at all.
The way I've classified shade limits previously is:
Full shade, no direct sunlight reaches the soil.
Dark, Deep shade, some dappled sunlight reaches the soil but for no more than 2 hours.
Deep shade, some dappled sunlight reaches the soil for between 3 and 5 hours.
Medium shade, Dappled light for most of the day light period.
Light shade, Dappled light with at least 2 hours of full sun.
This was for a project where I was trying to define the best possible ginseng growing spaces.
What I found was best growth and seed producing in the areas that were in between my deep shade and medium shade designations.
Of course it takes two years for ginseng to establish from seed and then a minimum of 10 more years to be considered good, harvestable root.
My plan is to plant out at least 500 seeds per year for five years, that will just about cover my north facing slope from top to bottom allowing for foot paths.
The main problem should be with deer since this area happens to be one of their prime through fares.
I have been adding new species into the original post.
We should have an update section to notate additions.
Adding an edit section into the OP would be easiest.
But, is there a moratorium on the time a post can be edited?
There have been some great finds about shade plants.
Here is one that I just found today:
"A long standing tradition of Japanese culture, Matcha Green Tea is the highest quality powdered green tea available. Made from the nutrient-rich young leaves picked from the tips of shade-grown Camellia sinensis plants, Matcha Green Tea is steamed, stemmed, and de-vined before being stone-ground into very fine powder. Matcha Green Tea powder is then stored away from light and oxygen in order to preserve its brilliant green color and antioxidant properties. This miracle elixir has been consumed for over a millennium in the Far East, and is now considered to be one of the most powerful super foods on the market today." (via naturallivingideas dot com)
There is a grow your own Matcha article that says "Cover the tea plant with a bamboo screen or other porous cover four weeks before harvest. This screen reduces the amount of sunlight available to the tea leaves, making them work harder and produce more chlorophyll. This is what makes the leaves used in matcha tea more tender and a deeper green than other tea leaves." (via homeguides.sfgate dot com)
This article about Matcha describes the premier Japanese heirloom varieties and cultivation throughout the article. "That said, camellia sinensis does have varietals, and some of them, it turns out, produce better matcha than others. The highest-grade matcha come almost invariably from one of three Japanese varietals (they’re calledsamidori, okumidori, and yabukita in Japanese) .... The very best matcha, in contrast, gets harvested—always by hand—just once per year, typically in May. Roughly six weeks before harvest, that is to say sometime in late March or early April, the tea fields, which are surrounded by scaffolding of sorts, are covered from the top. Traditionally, straw was employed for this, but nowadays it’s typically black vinyl sheets.....Only the smallest, youngest/greenest parts of the plant—the two leaves at the tip of each new shoot—are picked. They are then steamed to preserve the color and nutrients, and to stop the enzymatic action within the leaves, then thoroughly dried in large cages equipped with heated blowers." (via breakawaymatcha dot com)
And just like that, the rabbit hole continues.
I posted an article about Yerba Mate, yesterday.
It's shade tolerance was never thought of, until matcha.
A quick search confirmed that my absolute favorite tea, is also shade grown. "Yerba mate, is a shade subtropical. Like high quality coffee, high quality mate is shade-grown; delivering more flavor and containing more medicinal and nutritional properties than the commercially grown, sun farmed varieties." (via guayaki dot com)
So, I will definitely be adding Matcha, and Yerba Mate to the lists.
Tea is hardy to 10b, and I am in zone 7.
That a ton of work, but possible if I put the tea
trees near an insulating body of water.
Hey William, your list at the start of this post is quite rich and diverse. That level of diversity has been my goal for several years now and I currently grow around 300 species in my 0.5 acre urban garden. For the purposes of discussing a profitable crop for market which will grow in a mountainous woodland setting I would strongly suggest picking around three or four species which will be the backbone of our operation. This streamlines harvesting, drying, storing, etc. Looking at the most valuable crop per pound Panax quinequefolius (American ginseng) shoots to the top. But right behind is Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal). They will both grow well in the dappled light of the forest. Look for areas with maple and poplar as the canopy and rattlesnake fern as one of the perennials. These tend to be indicators of a good place to grow American ginseng.
In the mountains you should be able to grow Angelica archangelica quite well which is another wonderful herb, primarily for women. It is a valuable market crop but, I believe, acts as a biennial so a cycle of seed collection and germination might be in order if natural reseeding didn't establish. Also, I see you already have cohosh on your list. That's a great one as well.
You might find that with those four you could provide a reliable income (once colonies are robust enough). And picking just a few to take to market makes the project much more feasible. Try to juggle too many crops can undermine a small farming operation.
In the Black Mountains near Burnsville, NC is a farm called The Mountain Gardens. Joe Hollis grows around 500 medicinal herbs and has done so for decades. He sells seeds, plants, gives lectures, hosts interns, grows food, keeps ducks, etc etc. He might be a good resource for you as you move forward.
I really appreciate this thread. Shade gets pretty complicated. I live in a very open area (pretty rare in western Washington). It's hard for me to ask friends for reference on what their experiences are as their land is more forested and hilly. For them three hours of shade might occur as a minimum even in larger clearings. For me it only happens in very specific places, like in my orchard or near buildings.
Threads like this are important because it allows for anecdotal evidence, which I really appreciate for topics like this. I'm hoping to continue digging hugel beds in my orchard as they provide drainage, shade, and hold water in summer for my trees. I plan on doing guild plantings in them, so I've been trying to learn more about what grows well in full and partial shade. I'll be watching this thread and I'll be sure to let you know what my experiences are as time goes on
When you reach your lowest point, you are open to the greatest change.
Bryant, I know nothing about ginsing, and I am probably too far north to grow any. But like you, I have a north facing slope. I have been thinking about possibly growing rhodiola there. And, I have lots of deer.
Could you grow horseradish in the vicinity of your ginsing, to reduce deer pressure?
I am hoping to re-establish the windbreak on my west border (1/2 mile long, but probably only 1/4 mile of that) as my windward neighbours are cutting down too many trees on their side of the fence. Nominally the windbreak was aspen, of 20 to 50 feet in height (there is a spot where there has been probably no effective windbreak for the last 45 years or more). The second row species I am looking to on this windbreak is Quercus macrocarpa, and the 3rd row is Pinus koraiensis and Pinus sibirica. Big oaks cast deep shade, and the two pines should keep branches to ground level, so they should block just about all morning sun. In planting big trees like the oaks, there are "circular triangles" in the planting. The leeward circular triangles will be where the Korean pines are, the Siberian pines will be backing the oaks. In the windward circular triangles, I was thinking of planting a single black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia). So, there should be dappled sunlight entering from those windward triangles from near noon, on.
Average slope is probably a bit more than 7% (maybe 9%?).
Since part of this land, may have cattle or others grazing, I will probably have a fence to the east of the pines, to keep the grazing animals from getting to the pines (or to area under the oaks). The deer will be kept out by the row 1 trees; and Osage-orange (and hopefully honey locust) hedge.
So, under the oaks (hopefully I can have no branches below 15 feet, perhaps higher), I will have a space that is about 100 feet wide and maybe 1300 feet long (close to 3 acre). This might be a good space to free range chickens in, as any raptors would not be able to see them. I may be able to plant things like roses to block animals such as coyotes and foxes from easily getting through the Osage hedge (it was only ever advertised to be pig tight, not coyote tight). I would like to place swales of various lengths to support the row 2-6 trees individually, and to bring water to the edge of the Osage hedge. I am guessing the swales may complicate portable fencing to control where the chickens are grazing.
It will be a year or two, I only have a single oak that I planted which is still living (out of 5). So, I get to try again.
And then we all jump out and yell "surprise! we got you this tiny ad!"
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