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Edible Wild Plants | Edible Landscaping | Tropical Fruit Plants
Cyphomandra Corymbiflora

PLEASE NOTE - "I am taking a break from selling plants this year to pursue other projects. One of which will be to add an comprehensive database of herbs and their uses to this site. This will be published by the summer 2007. Sorry for any inconvenience" Lauren Rayner

Edible List - Latin Name First - A to Z

(Basella alba) Ceylon spinach/ Indian spinach
This is a fast growing perennial climber. The leaves and stem tips are edible and have a nice spinach -like taste. It is frost tender, but may be grown as an annual in Britain or else you can take stem cuttings in summer and grow on in a warm greenhouse over winter for more plants the following spring.

(Bunias orientalis) Turkish Rocket
This is a perennial growing to 1 metre and very easy to grow. Leaves can be used fresh in salads or cooked in stir fries. Has a similar taste to rocket, but with a more radish-like taste.

(Capparis spinosa ) Caper shrub
This is the shrub where capers come from. It is an evergreen shrub growing to 1 metre by 2 metres. It is the flower buds, not the fruit, which are harvested and pickled. They are aloud to wilt first before pickling. The young fruits and braNch tips can also be pickled and used as a condiment. All parts of the plant are used in the treatment of many ailments including gastrointestinal infections, gout, and diarrhoea. Plants need a hot, dry position in full sun and a well drained soil. These plants are very drought tolerant. they are not very hardy in the colder parts of Britain, so will need some winter protection in those areas.

(Capsicum pubescens) Tree Chile
A very rare chile pepper which is grown as a perennial. native to south America, it grows high up in the Andes mountains. This chile pepper is much hardier than all other chiles. It is very cold tolerant, but will not tolerate frosts. Over wintering in a cool green house is all that is needed to get it through the winter. It prefers a cool summer, so is best taken outside in summer, rather than grown in the greenhouse. It will suffer if temperatures are too high. Produces small red chile peppers which are quite hot and full of flavour.

Carica quercifolia
This is possibly the most cold tolerant of the highland papayas. It can withstand temperatures down to -5C , but cannot tolerate frosts. This makes an interesting foliage pot plant and has leaves which are oak -shaped and are unlike the leaves of other papaya species. An extremely fast growing evergreen shrub which in the wild will grow to a few metres tall, but is easily pot grown . It is cold tolerant by not frost tolerant. Produces small orange fruit in the first year it is sown from seeds and every year afterwards. Plants are dioecious(having male and female plants), so for fruit, a male and a female will need to be grown together. The fruits grow to a huge size(sometimes melon-sized) and have a sweet taste when ripe. The unripe(green fruits) can also be eaten like a vegetable. Plants need a perfectly well drained soil with plenty of compost. They also need to be fertilised often throughout the spring and summer and while they are fruiting.

(Carpobrotus edulis) Hottentot Fig
This plant was introduced from southern Africa. It has become naturalised on some coasts of Great Britain. It is a close relative of the common flower, Mesembryanthemum. it is a perennial growing to .1 metres by 1 metre. The fruit of this plant can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried. It can be made into pickles or chutneys.

(Ceratonia siliqua) Carob Tree
The seed pods from this handsome tree are often used as a chocolate substitute. The pods have a substance which is high in sucrose and protein. they can be eaten raw or dried and ground up for use in baking . This is an evergreen tree growing to 15 metres tall. In Britain , it needs to be pot grown and taken in for the winter as it is frost tender. Needs a well drained fertile soil and a position in full sun.

(Coix lacryma jobi ) Jacob's Tears
This is a perennial grass growing to 1 metre tall. This can be grown as a cereal grain. The seeds of this plant are high in protein and sweet tasting. They can be husked and eaten out of hand like peanuts or cooked in soups, or other dishes to give a sweet nutty taste. Medicinally, this plant has been used to treat many ailments, it has even been used to treat cancer. These plants are frost tender and should be grown as an annual.

(Cyphomandra abutiloides) Dwarf Tamarillo Tree
A rare member of the tomato, aubergine and pepper family. this is also a tamarillo species grown in South America as a food plant. It produces Orange 1/2" berries on a small shrub. Has large, fuzzy attractive leaves which are heart shaped. Not totally hardy, but can be stood outside in the summer. a half hardy perennial shrub. Grow as for aubergines and tomatoes. Feed regularly throughout the growing season. Take inside for the winter. Berries are edible.

(Cyphomandra betacea ) Tamarillo/ Tomato Tree
A very easily grown small tree which is usually cultivated for its tasty red tomato-like fruits. This is a beautiful plant with huge heart shaped leaves which are 12 inches long x 9 inches across. It bears fruit in its second year from being sown. The tree makes a nice pot plant and will benefit from being stood outside in the summer. It will put on tremendous growth during the summer, but if it gets too big to take into your greenhouse or conservatory, just chop it right down to half way, it will grow new leaves the following spring.

(Cyphomandra corymbiflora) Hardy Tamarillo Tree
The hardiest of all the tree tomatoes. it is completely hardy here in lowestoft despite several hard frosts. it also remains evergreen through the winter. fruits are edible and are light green with darker green stripes. 8.50

(Cyphomandra fragrans)Glossy Leaved Tamarillo A gorgeous member of the Tamarillo group. This Cyphomandra has extremely glossy large leaves that almost dont look real. Grows to 2 metres and has edible yellow fruit which are sweet and taste similar to other tamarillos. this species is slightly hardier than C. betacea and will tolerate a few light frosts. It may even be completely hardy in the South of England. all other areas of the country, it is best to take in for the winter.

(Cyprus esculentus) Tiger Nut/ Earth Nut
An ornamental half hardy perennial plant growing to 3 ft high. A grassy plant that has edible small tubers which have a nutty taste and are nutritious.

Dermatobotrys saundersii
A shrub which is a member of the snap dragon family, but is unusual in the fact this this little plant is actually an epiphyte which means that it will grow on branches of trees. It can also be grown in soil. this makes an attractive pot plant. Leaves are attractive with reddish veins. In summer it has clusters of tubular red flowers followed by fig-like fruits which are edible and sweet. Needs a very well drained , humus rich soil, and needs a position in partial shade. Needs to be fed monthly.

(No Latin name entry)
See common name entry for E

(Fragaria vesca 'Semperflorens') Alpine Strawberry
Perennial growing to 0.3m. The fruits are much smaller than the cultivated strawberry but are said by some to be far superior in flavour to that of the cultivated one. The fruits are produced in abundance from early summer until late autumn. Makes a good ground cover.

Guava, pineapple
This is a fast growing small tropical evergreen shrub growing to 8-12 ft tall, but can be pruned to desired shape and size. It produces lots of tasty fruits from september to december. The fruit is very aromatic. Pineapple guava is the hardiest varieties of all the guavas and may be hardy in the milder parts of England. Good for the conservatory or greenhouse. They will benefit from being put outside for the summer. It makes a good container plant and will produce fruit usually in their 2nd or 3rd year. These plants are less than one year old.

(Helianthus tuberosa) Jeruselum Artichoke
A hardy edible tuber crop. This is a tall relative of the sunflower, growing to 6 ft tall. A hardy herbaceous perennial which makes a good windbreak during the summer. in late summer/autumn, it produces sunflower-like flowers. After the frost has completely killed the top growth back, the tubers are ready to be dug. They do not keep very well, so they are best left in the ground until needed. They can be dug from autumn, winter and into early spring.

(No Latin name entry) See common name entry for I

(Jaltomata procumbens) Jaltomate: Dark purple berries looking like blueberries. White flesh tasting like grape and tomatoes. Eaten fresh, dried or made into jam. Cultivated in certain areas of Mexico. 3 to 4 feet plants. May need staking. Rare.

See common name entry for K

Lycium cf. cinereum
A tender shrub native to south Africa and will grow to 2 metres high. This is a member of the Solanum family, the same family as tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers. In summer it has edible miniature tomato-like fruits.spiny shrub. needs winter protection, so best grown in pots and stood outside for the summer , then brought in for the winter.

(No Latin name entry) See common name entry for M

(No Latin name entry)
See common name entry for N

(Oxalis tuberosa) OCA
This is an unusual vegetable coming from high in the Andes mountains. It is the tubers of the plant which are harvested in late autumn and are cooked and eaten like potatoes. The cooked roots are delicious having a taste similar to potatoes but with a lemony zest. the plant is highly productive. One plant will produce from 15-30 tubers which are slightly smaller than new potatoes. The oca plant is also quite useful in the vegetable patch as it can be interplanted with other vegetables and forms a low and dense carpet which suppresses weeds.

(Physalis sp.)Tomatillo 'Yellow Giant'
Highly prolific husk tomato producing enormous yellow fruits. Fast-maturing.. Excellent for salsa. Large sprawling plants need support for the masses of fruit produced. Tomatillos are the key ingredient in many mexican and South American dishes- one of the most famous is salsa verde. Tomatillos must be grown in the greenhouse and are not self fertile, which means, they need to be grown in at least pairs.

(Physalis angulata)Cut Leaf Ground Cherry
Ground Cherries are related to the Cape Gooseberry and have similar fruit to that of the cape gooseberry. Produces many small orange berries which are covered in their own protective 'paper bag' and will store right through the winter if kept inside their husk. Grown similarly to tomatoes. must be grown in the greenhouse. Needs full sun and a fertile compost. feed regularly with a tomato feed.Originates from Southern N. America - Pennsylvania to Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and Texas.The edible fruits are tasty and sweet. They can be eaten out of hand, baked in pies , made into jams.

(Physalis peruviana)Goldenberry/ Cape Gooseberry
A tender perennial growing quite tall at a fast rate. Produces delicious orange berries that are wrapped in their own 'paper bag'. These are the fruits that you see in grocery stores in the tropical fruits section. They are often labelled as 'physalis' and are quite expensive to buy. though, this is one of the easiest plants to grow if you have a greenhouse to grow them in. The edible fruits are tasty and sweet. they can be eaten out of hand, baked in pies , made into jams.

(physalis pruinosa) Physalis Ananas- Kirche: a type of ground cherry growing only 80cm high. Has pale yellow fruits which are enclosed in a papery husk. The fruit are very sweet and tasty, tasting similar to pineapple. Very productive. fruit are harvested from July to winter. The fruit will store right through winter as long as they are kept in their husk.

(Physalis pruinosa) Strawberry Ground Cherry / Dwarf Cape Gooseberry: This is the most popularly grown variety of the physalis's because at 18 to 20 inches high and 2 to 3 feet wide, it is smaller and more manageable than P. peruviana. The fruits are a lot like those of P. peruviana in flavor and size, but the husks are tight fitting and they curl back to expose the ripe fruits. Fruits are sweet and tasty and like all of the ground cherries, the fruit will sore all winter long as long as they are kept in thier papery husks.

(Pollichia campestris) Wax berry
A half hardy shrub native to south Africa. It has white flowers all year round and edible white berries. Needs a well drained soil and a position in full sun. it is best to grow in containers and take inside for the winter.

(Polymnia sonchifolia) Yacon
This is an unusual food plant native to the andes mountains in Peru. It is one of the 'Lost Crops of the Incas' . A distant relative of the Jeruselum Artichoke, producing a large amount of good sized tubers in late autumn. The tubers have a very sweet taste and a crunchy texture. They are called 'Earth Apples' in south America and are traditionally left outside for a day to dry in the sun . This concentrates the sugars and the tubers are then eaten raw and have a very sweet taste. These may also be cooked and are good used in stir fries as an alternative to water chestnuts as they remain crunchy even after cooking. A tender perennial. Store tubers in a frost free place through winter.

(No Latin name entry) See common name entry for Q

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( Sium sisarum ) Skirret
A half hardy perennial plant growing to 1 metre tall. The root of this plant is edible and tasty, Tasting somewhat like carrots or parsnips, but with a nutty flavour. the roasted root can also be used as a coffee substitute. Needs a rich well drained soil for it to be at it's best.

(Solanum Sisymbriifolium ) Morelle de balbis
A spiny annual growing to 4ft. Has pale white flowers followed by bright red tomato- like fruits. The fruits are edible eaten fresh or cooked, though the flavour is best after being cooked. Sauces and jams are commonly made from the fruit. Native to tropical America. Seeds are best sown in modules in early spring and then planted out after last frost.

(Solanum burbankii) Wonderberry, Sunberry
This is a plant related to the tomato. It produces loads of small white flowers followed by lots and lots of dark purple sweet, edible berries which are excellent made into jams and pies. they can be eaten raw, but are best cooked. An annual .Seed should be sown in trays or modules in early spring and planted out after the last expected frost.

(Solanum gilo Black Stem) Black Stemmed Africa Eggplant
an uncommon food plant from South America, and naturalised in Africa. this is a tall growing shrub(to 5 ft) and has attractive dark stems and white flowers followed by red cherry-tomato sized fruits with are edible raw or cooked. they are said to taste like carrots or green beans, however have a slight bitter taste which westerners are not used to. Treat like other eggplants, however, this one is hardier than other eggplants and may be grown outside in a pot for the summer. A tender perennial, but can also be grown as an annual in the UK. feed often. full sun, good compost.originates in South America/ Africa.

(solanum macrocarpon) Gbogname- Yellow Fruited Form
an uncommon food plant from Africa. A attractive tender perennial having white or purple inch-wide flowers followed by yellow 2.5 inch fruits which are edible and used similarly to eggplant. A tender perennial plant, but can also be grown as an annual in the UK. Grow in the greenhouse in good compost and feed with a tomato feed often. Native to tropical Africa. The yellow fruit are cooked and used like eggplant. the leaves can also be eaten steamed or cooked like spinach.

(Solanum muricatum) Pepino
Half hardy evergreen shrub growing to 1 metre tall. In summer it bears edible, delicious fruits which have a melon-like flavour. The fruits are high in vitamin c. A native of south america and is often cultivated there for its fruits. Young plants are intolerant to frost, but mature specimens withstand some frost. They can be grown against a south facing wall and if mulched well in autumn, the root system is hardy and with grow new shoots in the spring. They can also be pot grown and brought into a frost free place for the winter. Cuttings may be taken in late autumn for fresh plants the following spring.

(Solanum nigrum) Chiquelite: A type of garden huckleberry which grows into a large, tall plant. Very easy to grow. Fruit is good for eating fresh or cooked; leaves also cooked.

(Solanum nigrum) Hei Tien Tsai: a type of garden huckleberry which was bred in Asia. The Leaves are cooked as greens and the purple fruit can be cooked into pies and jams.

(Solanum sp.) 'Mrs Bee's Non Bitter': Sweet purple fruit of excellent quality. a Type of garden huckleberry, but superior in flavour to the ordinary huckleberry. Fruit can be eaten fresh or cooked. Easy to grow.

(solanum opacum) Greenberry: A green hucklebbery with a spicy, tomato-like taste. Has a crawling growth habit. Grows to 1 metre tall. Has pretty star- shaped white flowers, followed by greenish yellow berries. Rare.

Solanum spontaneum
This is an unusual little vegetable. It is related to the tomato and looks like a miniature tomato plant. Each plant produces hundreds of tiny, very sweet orange fruits. They are of excellent flavour eaten raw or made into sauces or used in salads. The plants only grow a few inches high and do really well planted in the ground outside. They seem to be more resistent to blight than tomato plants. so if you want to grow a cherry tomato type tomato outside this year without worry of blight, then this is the one for you.

(solanum surratense) Kantikari
A unusual plant from India having prickly spikes with beautiful inch-wide fruits. Has odd winged seed. The fruit are edible but bitter and are used Indian curries. the root is used in Ayurvedic medicine in India to treat asthma, cough, bronchspasm, sore throat, constipation, an effective expectorant and diuretic. Needs a well drained, but fertile soil in full sun. Best grown in the greenhouse.

(Solanum quitoense) Naranjillo
a beautiful plant related to the tomato plant. this is a tender perennial coming from the andes mountains. has very large furry green leaves with dark purple veins. the plant that i offer has many spines all over it, though there is a variety which is spineless, but very hard to obtain. it produces lots of delicious fruits which are said to taste like a combination of banana, orange, and pineapple. will start to produce fruits in their second and third year.

Tropaeolum tuberosum 'ken aslett' Mashua 'Ken Aslett'
This is a perennial climbing plant which is a relative of the common plant, nasturtium. It is now becoming quite popular here in england and is grown for it's ornamental qualities, but most do not know that it produces lots of colourful edible tubers. Coming from high in the Andes mountains, it is one of 'the Lost Crops of the Incas'. It has been grown for thousands of years as a food crop in the andes mountains. In late autumn, as the days get shorter, it produces lots of edible pink and white tubers which can be cooked like potatoes.

(No Latin name entry) See common name entry for U

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(No Latin name entry) See common name entry for W

(No Latin name entry) See common name entry for X

(No Latin name entry) See common name entry for Y

(No Latin name entry) See common name entry for Z

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