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A Global Inventory of Perennial Vegetables

Posted on by User Admin

A GLOBAL INVENTORY OF PERENNIAL VEGETABLES

Eric Toensmeier

 

This post is to celebrate the release of my new Perennial Vegetable Gardening DVD!

Perennial Vegetable Gardening DVD lores[1]

Perennial Vegetables Defined

These are crops that fit my definition of perennial vegetable: living three or more years, used as a vegetable and not a novelty crop or culinary herb, and not destroyed by harvesting. Some of these root crops are plant/replant perennials, meaning they are dug up for harvest but then some portion is replanted in the same or another hole, keeping the plant alive to produce again the following year. By vegetable I mean leaves, leafstalks, shoots, flowers, flowerbuds (broccolis), tubers, corms, rhizomes, roots, pods, beans and other above- or below-ground parts that are eaten raw or cooked as a meal or side dish. In the case of fruits I means fruits that are cooked and eaten as a meal or side dish (e.g., eggplant), not dessert fruits (e.g., strawberries).

Climate Zones

These are based on those listed in Perennial Vegetables, which were developed for the US and Canada. I have added a few more climate types to make this a more global resource, though it is not a perfect fit in every case. Species listed in a climate zone will be perennial in all or most of that zone. Woody plants listed as “dieback” will be frost-killed but re-sprout to provide a legitimate harvest of some or all of their products (e.g., moringa will re-sprout and grow 15-20’, sometimes setting pods but always plenty of edible leaves.)

The Species

This is by no means a comprehensive list. However it includes the best I know of, with more marginal species added in for cold climates. Tropical species are mainly the best candidates as a much greater number of crops are available. I’ve added about ninety crops not profiled in Perennial Vegetables for a grand total of almost two hundred.

Region of Origin

Note that this is a global inventory of perennial vegetables. Always start with species native to your region and build out from there. Some of these species are, or could become, serious weeds outside of their native range. A single asterisk (*) in the “Origin” column indicates a terrestrial species that has or could naturalize aggressively. A double asterisk (**) indicates aquatic species, which are particularly likely to naturalize and should be grown with caution outside their native range. Please don’t have a heart attack about seeing air potato for example, remember it’s a global list, and it is native from Africa through Australia. You don’t have to grow it just because it is listed in your climate zone.

Form

Describes the form of the plant, from tree to cactus to herb etc. There’s a lot more than herbaceous perennials out there!

Edible Parts

Describes the edible portion used as a vegetable, as well as other edible uses. Note that most of these vegetables should be cooked. The notes indicate some species noted for toxicity, which absolutely must be cooked before eating.

Sun and Shade

Indicates light preferences. One of the great things about perennial vegetables is that there are so many for shade

Moisture

Preferred moisture including wet, mesic (medium), and dry. Also includes aquatic plant niches, including emergent aquatics (roots under water but leaves emerging above the water surface, from deep or shallow water), emergent floaters (similar but leaves floating at the water surface and not extending above it), floating aquatics (floating at the surface but not rooted into soil below), and submerged aquatics (completely underwater).

Notes

This column has information on nuisances like spines and stinging, as well as toxicity or other concerns.

EXTREME COLD: This region covers most of inland Canada as well as the northern U.S. and portions of Europe and Asia. It corresponds with USDA zones 1-3, and Sunset Zones 1, 44, and 45. Note that heavy snow cover can provide excellent insulation in this zone, but the short season and lack of hot summers are serious limiting factors. 
Latin Name Common Name Origin Form Edible Parts Sun & Shade Moisture Notes
Allium cernuum nodding wild onion Eurasia herb greens sun to part dry to mesic
Asclepias syriaca, A. speciosa showy & common milkweed North America herb shoots, flowerbuds, young leaves, pods sun dry to mesic
Centranthus ruber red valerian Eurasia herb greens sun to part dry to mesic
Helianthus maximiliani Maximilan sunflower North America giant herb shoots, seeds sun dry to mesic
Helianthus tuberosus sunchoke Eastern North America giant herb tubers sun mesic
Lemna spp. duckweed Worldwide** microherb greens sun floating aquatic
Matteuccia struthiopteris ostrich fern Eurasia, North America fern shoots part to shade wet to mesic must be cooked
Nasturtium officinale watercress Eurasia** giant herb leaves sun emergent floating aquatic to wet
Oxyria digyna mountain sorrel Eurasia, North America herb greens sun to part mesic
Perideridia gairdnerii yampah North America herb tubers sun wet to mesic
Rheum x cultorum rhubarb Eurasia herb leafstalks sun mesic leaves and roots toxic
Sagittaria latifolia arrowhead North America** herb tubers, shoots sun deep emergent aquatic
Typha spp. cattail Worldwide** grasslike shoots, root shoots, root starch, flowerbuds, pollen sun shallow emergent aquatic to wet
Wolffia spp. water meal Worldwide** microherb greens sun floating aquatic

 

common milkweed

common milkweed

 

 

COLD TEMPERATE: This is a large and highly populated region covering much the eastern and central United States, as well as much of the warmer parts of Canada. Much of Europe and Asia, as some of temperate South America is in this climate type. This region corresponds with USDA Zones 4–7, and Sunset Zones 2–4, 6, 11, and 32–43.
Latin Name Common Name Origin Form Edible Parts Sun & Shade Moisture Notes
Allium ampeloprasum perennial leek Eurasia herb whole plants sun mesic
Allium cepa aggregatum multiplier onion Eurasia herb bulbs sun mesic
Allium cepa proliferum walking onion Eurasia herb scallions sun mesic
Allium cernuum nodding wild onion Eurasia herb greens sun to part dry to mesic
Allium fistulosum Welsh onion Eurasia herb scallions sun mesic
Allium tricoccum ramps North America herb whole plants part to shade wet to mesic
Allium tuberosum garlic chives Asia herb greens, flowerbuds sun to part dry to mesic
Apios americana groundnut North America vine tubers, beans sun to part wet to mesic
Aralia cordata udo Asia giant herb shoots part shade mesic
Arundinaria gigantea river cane North America* bamboo shoots sun to part mesic
Asclepias syriaca, A. speciosa showy & common milkweed North America herb shoots, flowerbuds, young leaves, pods sun dry to mesic
Asparagus officinalis asparagus Eurasia herb shoots sun mesic
Asphodeline lutea yellow asphodel Eurasia herb tubers sun mesic
Beta vulgaris maritima sea beet Eurasia* herb greens sun mesic
Bunias orientalis Turkish rocket Eurasia* herb greens, broccolis sun to part dry to mesic
Camassia cusickii camass Western North America herb bulbs sun wet to mesic must be cooked
Camassia leichtlinnii camass Western North America herb bulbs sun wet to mesic must be cooked
Camassia quamash camass Western North America herb bulbs sun wet to mesic must be cooked
Camassia scillioides camass Eastern North America herb bulbs sun wet to mesic must be cooked
Cedrella sinensis fragrant spring tree Asia tree greens sun mesic
Centranthus ruber red valerian Eurasia herb greens sun to part dry to mesic
Chenopodium bonus-henricus good King Henry Eurasia herb greens, shoots, broccolis sun to part mesic
Cichorium intybus chicory Eurasia* herb greens sun to part mesic
Crambe cordifolia colewort Eurasia herb greens, broccolis sun dry to mesic
Crambe maritima sea kale Eurasia herb greens, broccolis, roots sun dry to mesic
Dioscorea japonica jinenjo Asia vine tubers sun mesic must be cooked
Dioscorea opposita Chinese yam Asia* vine tubers sun mesic must be cooked
Diplotaxis muralis, D. tenuifolia sylvetta arugula Mediterranean* shrub, herb greens sun to part dry to mesic
Hablitzia tamnoides Caucasian spinach Eurasia vine greens, shoots part shade dry to mesic
Helianthus maximiliani Maximilan sunflower North America giant herb shoots, seeds sun dry to mesic
Helianthus tuberosus sunchoke Eastern North America giant herb tubers sun mesic
Hemerocallis spp. daylily Asia herb flowerbuds, flowers sun to part mesic
Laportaea canadensis wood nettle Eastern North America herb greens part to shade mesic stings, must be cooked
Lemna spp. duckweed Worldwide** microherb greens sun floating aquatic
Levisticum officinale lovage Eurasia herb greens, shoots, leafstalks sun to part mesic
Lomatium spp. biscuit root North America herb tubers sun dry to mesic
Lycium chinense leaf goji Asia shrub greens, fruits sun to part mesic spiny
Malva moschata gumbo leaf mallow Eurasia herb greens sun to part mesic
Matteuccia struthiopteris ostrich fern Eurasia, North America fern shoots part to shade wet to mesic must be cooked
Morus alba mulberry Asia* tree greens, fruit sun to part dry to mesic must be cooked
Nasturtium officinale watercress Eurasia** giant herb leaves sun emergent floating aquatic to wet
Nelumbo lutea American lotus North America** giant herb tubers, seeds sun deep emergent aquatic
Nelumbo nucifera Chinese lotus Eurasia** giant herb tubers, seeds sun deep emergent aquatic
Oenanthe javanica water celery New Guinea, Asia** herb greens sun to part emergent floating aquatic to wet
Oxyria digyna mountain sorrel Eurasia, North America herb greens sun to part mesic
Perideridia gairdnerii yampah North America herb tubers sun wet to mesic
Petasites japonicus fuki Asia* giant herb leafstalks part to shade wet to mesic
Phyllostachys spp. running bamboo Asia* bamboo shoots sun to part mesic
Physalis heterophylla clammy ground cherry North America herb fruits sun mesic
Physalis longifolia longleaf groundcherry North America herb fruits sun mesic
Physalis pruinosa ground cherry North America herb fruits sun mesic
Phytolacca americana pokeweed North America* giant herb young shoots, cooked in three water changes sun to part mesic
Polygonatum commutatum giant Solomon’s seal Eastern North America herb shoots, tubers sun to part mesic
Rheum australe Himalayan rhubarb Eurasia herb leafstalks sun mesic leaves and roots toxic
Rheum palmatum turkey rhubarb Eurasia herb leafstalks sun mesic leaves and roots toxic
Rheum x cultorum rhubarb Eurasia herb leafstalks sun mesic leaves and roots toxic
Rhus typhina staghorn sumac North America shrub shoots sun mesic
Rumex acetosa French sorrel Eurasia herb greens sun to part mesic
Rumex acetosella sheep sorrel Eurasia herb greens sun to part mesic
Rumex scutatus buckler-leaf sorrel Eurasia herb greens sun to part mesic
Sagittaria latifolia arrowhead North America** herb tubers, shoots sun deep emergent aquatic
Sasa kurilensis running bamboo Asia* bamboo shoots sun to part mesic
Scorzonera hispanica scorzonera Eurasia herb leaves, roots, broccolis sun mesic
Semiarundinaria fastuosa running bamboo Asia* bamboo shoots sun to part mesic
Sium sisarum skirret Asia herb tubers sun to part wet to mesic
Stachys sieboldii Chinese artichoke, crosnes Asia herb tubers sun wet to mesic
Taraxacum officinale dandelion Eurasia herb greens sun mesic
Tetragonia tetragonioides New Zealand spinach Australia herb greens sun dry to mesic
Tilia spp. linden, lime, basswood Eurasia, North America tree greens sun to shade mesic
Typha spp. cattail Worldwide** grasslike shoots, root shoots, root starch, flowerbuds, pollen sun shallow emergent aquatic to wet
Urtica dioica stinging nettle Eurasia, North America herb greens sun to part mesic stings
Wolffia spp. water meal Worldwide** microherb greens sun floating aquatic

 

DSC03380

 

COOL MARITIME: From San Francisco north to Vancouver and the Alaska panhandle is a narrow, highly populated coastal region. This region corresponds with USDA Zones 8–9, and Sunset Zones 5 and 17. Much of Britain is similar, as are some mild southern hemisphere regions including New Zealand.
Latin Name Common Name Origin Form Edible Parts Sun & Shade Moisture Notes
Allium ampeloprasum perennial leek Eurasia herb whole plants sun mesic
Allium cepa aggregatum multiplier onion Eurasia herb bulbs sun mesic
Allium cepa proliferum walking onion Eurasia herb scallions sun mesic
Allium cernuum nodding wild onion Eurasia herb greens sun to part dry to mesic
Allium fistulosum Welsh onion Eurasia herb scallions sun mesic
Allium tuberosum garlic chives Asia herb greens, flowerbuds sun to part dry to mesic
Allium ursinum ramsons Eurasia herb whole plants part to shade wet to mesic
Apios americana groundnut North America vine tubers, beans sun to part wet to mesic
Apium prostratum filiforme wild celery Australia herb stalks sun wet to mesic
Aralia cordata udo Asia giant herb shoots part shade mesic
Asparagus officinalis asparagus Eurasia herb shoots sun mesic
Asphodeline lutea yellow asphodel Eurasia herb tubers sun mesic
Atriplex halimus saltbush Mediterranean, North Africa shrub greens sun dry to mesic
Berula erecta water parsnip North America, Eurasia** herb greens sun wet
Beta vulgaris maritima sea beet Eurasia* herb greens sun mesic
Brassica napus “Western Front” kale Eurasia herb greens sun mesic
Brassica oleracea wild cabbage Eurasia herb greens sun mesic
Brassica oleracea “Colocha” Eurasia herb greens sun mesic
Brassica oleracea acephala “Tree Collards” Eurasia shrub greens sun mesic
Brassica oleracea alboglabra Gai Lon Eurasia herb greens, broccolis sun mesic
Brassica oleracea botrytis “9 Star” perennial broccoli Eurasia herb greens, broccolis sun mesic
Brassica oleracea ramosa branching bush kales, “Dorbentons” kale Eurasia shrub greens sun mesic
Bunias orientalis Turkish rocket Eurasia* herb greens, broccolis sun to part dry to mesic
Camassia cusickii camass Western North America herb bulbs sun wet to mesic must be cooked
Camassia leichtlinnii camass Western North America herb bulbs sun wet to mesic must be cooked
Camassia quamash camass Western North America herb bulbs sun wet to mesic must be cooked
Camassia scillioides camass Eastern North America herb bulbs sun wet to mesic must be cooked
Canna edulis achira, edible canna Andes giant herb tubers, shoots sun to part wet to mesic
Cedrella sinensis fragrant spring tree Asia tree greens sun mesic
Centranthus ruber red valerian Eurasia herb greens sun to part dry to mesic
Chenopodium bonus-henricus good King Henry Eurasia herb greens, shoots, broccolis sun to part mesic
Cichorium intybus chicory Eurasia* herb greens sun to part mesic
Colocasia esculenta taro New Guinea, Asia herb tubers, greens sun to part wet to mesic must be cooked
Crambe cordifolia colewort Eurasia herb greens, broccolis sun dry to mesic
Crambe maritima sea kale Eurasia herb greens, broccolis, roots sun dry to mesic
Cynara cardunculus cardoon Eurasia* herb leafstalks sun dry to mesic
Cynara scolymus globe artichoke Eurasia herb flowerbuds sun dry to mesic
Dioscorea opposita Chinese yam Asia* vine tubers sun mesic must be cooked
Diplotaxis muralis, D. tenuifolia sylvetta arugula Mediterranean* shrub, herb greens sun to part dry to mesic
Hablitzia tamnoides Caucasian spinach Eurasia vine greens, shoots part shade dry to mesic
Helianthus maximiliani Maximilan sunflower North America giant herb shoots, seeds sun dry to mesic
Helianthus tuberosus sunchoke Eastern North America giant herb tubers sun mesic
Hemerocallis spp. daylily Asia herb flowerbuds, flowers sun to part mesic
Laportaea canadensis wood nettle Eastern North America herb greens part to shade mesic stings, must be cooked
Levisticum officinale lovage Eurasia herb greens, shoots, leafstalks sun to part mesic
Lomatium spp. biscuit root North America herb tubers sun dry to mesic
Lycium chinense leaf goji Asia shrub greens, fruits sun to part mesic spiny
Malva moschata gumbo leaf mallow Eurasia herb greens sun to part mesic
Marsdenia australis bush banana, Austral doubah Australia* vine pods, tubers, greens sun dry to mesic
Matteuccia struthiopteris ostrich fern Eurasia, North America fern shoots part to shade wet to mesic must be cooked
Morus alba mulberry Asia* tree greens, fruit sun to part dry to mesic must be cooked
Nasturtium officinale watercress Eurasia** giant herb leaves sun emergent floating aquatic to wet
Nelumbo lutea American lotus North America** giant herb tubers, seeds sun deep emergent aquatic
Nelumbo nucifera Chinese lotus Eurasia** giant herb tubers, seeds sun deep emergent aquatic
Oenanthe javanica water celery New Guinea, Asia** herb greens sun to part emergent floating aquatic to wet
Opuntia ficus-indica, O. robusta, O. streptacantha nopale cactus, tuna Mesoamerica* cactus pads, fruit sun dry to mesic spiny
Oxalis tuberosa oca Andes herb tubers sun mesic
Oxyria digyna mountain sorrel Eurasia, North America herb greens sun to part mesic
Perideridia gairdnerii yampah North America herb tubers sun wet to mesic
Petasites japonicus fuki Asia* giant herb leafstalks part to shade wet to mesic
Phaseolus coccineus runner bean Mesoamerica vine beans, pods sun mesic
Phaseolus lunatus lima bean Mesoamerica vine beans sun dry to mesic
Phyllostachys spp. running bamboo Asia* bamboo shoots sun to part mesic
Physalis peruviana goldenberry Andes herb fruits sun mesic
Phytolacca americana pokeweed North America* giant herb young shoots, cooked in three water changes sun to part mesic
Piper auritum root beer leaf, hoja santa Mesoamerica* shrub greens, leafstalks sun to part mesic
Polygonatum commutatum giant Solomon’s seal Eastern North America herb shoots, tubers sun to part mesic
Rheum australe Himalayan rhubarb Eurasia herb leafstalks sun mesic leaves and roots toxic
Rheum palmatum turkey rhubarb Eurasia herb leafstalks sun mesic leaves and roots toxic
Rheum x cultorum rhubarb Eurasia herb leafstalks sun mesic leaves and roots toxic
Rhus typhina staghorn sumac North America shrub shoots sun mesic
Rumex acetosa French sorrel Eurasia herb greens sun to part mesic
Rumex acetosella sheep sorrel Eurasia herb greens sun to part mesic
Rumex scutatus buckler-leaf sorrel Eurasia herb greens sun to part mesic
Sagittaria latifolia arrowhead North America** herb tubers, shoots sun deep emergent aquatic
Sagittaria sinensis Chinese arrowhead Asia** herb tubers sun deep emergent aquatic
Sasa kurilensis running bamboo Asia* bamboo shoots sun to part mesic
Scorzonera hispanica scorzonera Eurasia herb leaves, roots, broccolis sun mesic
Semiarundinaria fastuosa running bamboo Asia* bamboo shoots sun to part mesic
Sium sisarum skirret Asia herb tubers sun to part wet to mesic
Smallianthus sonchifolia yacon Andes herb tubers sun mesic
Solanum tuberosum potato Andes herb tubers sun mesic must be cooked
Stachys sieboldii Chinese artichoke, crosnes Asia herb tubers sun wet to mesic
Taraxacum officinale dandelion Eurasia herb greens sun mesic
Tetragonia tetragonioides New Zealand spinach Australia herb greens sun dry to mesic
Tilia spp. linden, lime, basswood Eurasia, North America tree greens sun to shade mesic
Tropaeolum tuberosum “Ken Aslett” mashua Andes vine tubers, greens sun mesic
Typha spp. cattail Worldwide** grasslike shoots, root shoots, root starch, flowerbuds, pollen sun shallow emergent aquatic to wet
Urtica dioica stinging nettle Eurasia, North America herb greens sun to part mesic stings
Yucca guatemalensis izote Mesoamerica succulent flowerbuds sun dry to mesic spiny

 

edible leaf mulberry

edible leaf mulberry

 

HOT AND HUMID: This warm band extends from east Texas through the coastal Carolinas. This region corresponds with USDA Zones 8–9 and Sunset Zones 26–28 and 31. This is not a tropical climate, though it features hot humid summers, winter temperatures drop below freezing, sometimes typical subtropical chilling and sometimes quite a bit colder.
Latin Name Common Name Origin Form Edible Parts Sun & Shade Moisture Nots
Allium ampeloprasum perennial leek Eurasia herb whole plants sun mesic
Allium cepa aggregatum multiplier onion Eurasia herb bulbs sun mesic
Allium cepa proliferum walking onion Eurasia herb scallions sun mesic
Allium cernuum nodding wild onion Eurasia herb greens sun to part dry to mesic
Allium fistulosum Welsh onion Eurasia herb scallions sun mesic
Allium tuberosum garlic chives Asia herb greens, flowerbuds sun to part dry to mesic
Apios americana groundnut North America vine tubers, beans sun to part wet to mesic
Arundinaria gigantea river cane North America* bamboo shoots sun to part mesic
Asclepias syriaca, A. speciosa showy & common milkweed North America herb shoots, flowerbuds, young leaves, pods sun dry to mesic
Asparagus officinalis asparagus Eurasia herb shoots sun mesic
Bunias orientalis Turkish rocket Eurasia* herb greens, broccolis sun to part dry to mesic
Canna edulis achira, edible canna Andes giant herb tubers, shoots sun to part wet to mesic
Cedrella sinensis fragrant spring tree Asia tree greens sun mesic
Colocasia esculenta taro New Guinea, Asia herb tubers, greens sun to part wet to mesic must be cooked
Crambe cordifolia colewort Eurasia herb greens, broccolis sun dry to mesic
Cynara scolymus globe artichoke Eurasia herb flowerbuds sun dry to mesic
Dioscorea bulbifera air potato Asia, Africa, Australia* vine tubers sun mesic must be cooked, some forms toxic
Dioscorea opposita Chinese yam Asia* vine tubers sun mesic must be cooked
Diplotaxis muralis, D. tenuifolia sylvetta arugula Mediterranean* shrub, herb greens sun to part dry to mesic
Helianthus tuberosus sunchoke Eastern North America giant herb tubers sun mesic
Hemerocallis spp. daylily Asia herb flowerbuds, flowers sun to part mesic
Maranta arundinacea arrowroot Amazonia herb tubers sun mesic
Moringa oleifera moringa Africa dieback tree greens, pods, bark, tubers, seeds sun dry to mesic
Moringa stenopetala African moringa Africa dieback tree greens, pods sun dry to mesic
Morus alba mulberry Asia* tree greens, fruit sun to part dry to mesic must be cooked
Nasturtium officinale watercress Eurasia** giant herb leaves sun emergent floating aquatic to wet
Nelumbo lutea American lotus North America** giant herb tubers, seeds sun deep emergent aquatic
Nelumbo nucifera Chinese lotus Eurasia** giant herb tubers, seeds sun deep emergent aquatic
Opuntia ficus-indica, O. robusta, O. streptacantha nopale cactus, tuna Mesoamerica* cactus pads, fruit sun dry to mesic spiny
Phaseolus lunatus lima bean Mesoamerica vine beans sun dry to mesic
Physalis peruviana goldenberry Andes herb fruits sun mesic
Phytolacca americana pokeweed North America* giant herb young shoots, cooked in three water changes sun to part mesic
Piper auritum root beer leaf, hoja santa Mesoamerica* shrub greens, leafstalks sun to part mesic
Psophocarpus tetragonobolus “Day Neutral” winged bean New Guinea, Asia vine beans, tubers, flowers, greens, pods sun mesic
Sagittaria latifolia arrowhead North America** herb tubers, shoots sun deep emergent aquatic
Sagittaria sinensis Chinese arrowhead Asia** herb tubers sun deep emergent aquatic
Sechium edule chayote Mesoamerica* vine fruit, greens, tubers sun mesic
Smallianthus sonchifolia yacon Andes herb tubers sun mesic
Typha spp. cattail Worldwide** grasslike shoots, root shoots, root starch, flowerbuds, pollen sun shallow emergent aquatic to wet
Urtica dioica stinging nettle Eurasia, North America herb greens sun to part mesic stings

 

edible canna

edible canna

ARID & HOT: This region covers the low and mid-elevation deserts and hot drylands of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and southwestern California. This region corresponds with USDA Zones 8–10 and Sunset Zones 10, 12, 13, 29, and 30. These are subtropical deserts or somewhat colder. Large areas of Australia and Latin America are in this climate type. 
Latin Name Common Name Origin Form Edible Parts Sun & Shade Moisture Notes
Acacia holosericea, A. murrayana, A victoriae edible seed acacias Australia* tree dry beans sun dry spiny
Agave parreyi, A. chrysantha, A. deserti, A. utahensis, A. palmeri hardy agaves Western North America succulent hearts sun dry to mesic spiny
Agave salmiana, A. tequilana tropical agaves Mesoamerica succulent hearts sun dry to mesic spiny
Allium tuberosum garlic chives Asia herb greens, flowerbuds sun to part dry to mesic
Cajanus cajan pigeon pea Asia shrub beans, pods sun dry to mesic
Cercidium microphyllum palo verde Western North America tree beans sun dry
Cnidoscolus chayamansa chaya Mesoamerica dieback shrub greens sun dry to mesic cyanide: must cook
Cnidoscolus palmeri bull nettle Mesoamerica herb tubers sun dry to mesic stings
Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa cholla Western North America cactus flowerbuds sun dry to mesic extremely spiny
Cymopteris spp. gamote Western North America herb tubers sun dry to mesic
Moringa oleifera moringa Africa dieback tree greens, pods, bark, tubers, seeds sun dry to mesic
Moringa stenopetala African moringa Africa tree greens, pods sun dry to mesic
Morus alba mulberry Asia* tree greens, fruit sun to part dry to mesic must be cooked
Opuntia ficus-indica, O. robusta, O. streptacantha nopale cactus, tuna Mesoamerica* cactus pads, fruit sun dry to mesic spiny
Phaseolus coccineus runner bean Mesoamerica vine beans, pods sun mesic
Phaseolus lunatus lima bean Mesoamerica vine beans sun dry to mesic
Phaseolus polysanthus cache bean Mesoamerica vine beans sun mesic
Plectranthus esculentus Livingstone potato Africa herb tubers sun dry to mesic
Tylosema esculentum marama bean Africa vine beans, tuber sun dry
Yucca guatemalensis izote Mesoamerica succulent flowerbuds sun dry to mesic spiny

IMG_0779

 

 

MILD MEDITERRANEAN: Southern and central California has a mild climate well suited to perennial vegetables. This region corresponds with USDA Zones 8–10 and Sunset Zones 7–9, 14, 15, 16, and 18–25. Much of Australia, southern South America, soutern Africa, and of course the Mediterranean are similar.
Latin Name Common Name Origin Form Edible Parts Sun & Shade Moisture Notes
Abelmoschus esculentus perennial okra Africa shrub pods, seeds sun dry to mesic
Acacia holosericea, A. murrayana, A victoriae edible seed acacias Australia* tree dry beans sun dry spiny
Agave parreyi, A. chrysantha, A. deserti, A. utahensis, A. palmeri hardy agaves Western North America succulent hearts sun dry to mesic spiny
Agave salmiana, A. tequilana tropical agaves Mesoamerica succulent hearts sun dry to mesic spiny
Allium ampeloprasum perennial leek Eurasia herb whole plants sun mesic
Allium cepa aggregatum multiplier onion Eurasia herb bulbs sun mesic
Allium cepa proliferum walking onion Eurasia herb scallions sun mesic
Allium fistulosum Welsh onion Eurasia herb scallions sun mesic
Allium tuberosum garlic chives Asia herb greens, flowerbuds sun to part dry to mesic
Apium prostratum filiforme wild celery Australia herb stalks sun wet to mesic
Aponogeton distachios water hawthorn Africa** herb flowerbuds, greens sun emergent floating aquatic
Aralia cordata udo Asia giant herb shoots part shade mesic
Asparagus officinalis asparagus Eurasia herb shoots sun mesic
Asphodeline lutea yellow asphodel Eurasia herb tubers sun mesic
Atriplex halimus saltbush Mediterranean, North Africa shrub greens sun dry to mesic
Berula erecta water parsnip North America, Eurasia** herb greens sun wet
Beta vulgaris maritima sea beet Eurasia* herb greens sun mesic
Brassica napus “Western Front” kale Eurasia herb greens sun mesic
Brassica oleracea wild cabbage Eurasia herb greens sun mesic
Brassica oleracea “Colocha” Eurasia herb greens sun mesic
Brassica oleracea acephala “Tree Collards” Eurasia shrub greens sun mesic
Brassica oleracea alboglabra Gai Lon Eurasia herb greens, broccolis sun mesic
Brassica oleracea botrytis “9 Star” perennial broccoli Eurasia herb greens, broccolis sun mesic
Brassica oleracea ramosa branching bush kales, “Dorbentons” kale Eurasia shrub greens sun mesic
Bunias orientalis Turkish rocket Eurasia* herb greens, broccolis sun to part dry to mesic
Camassia cusickii camass Western North America herb bulbs sun wet to mesic must be cooked
Camassia leichtlinnii camass Western North America herb bulbs sun wet to mesic must be cooked
Camassia quamash camass Western North America herb bulbs sun wet to mesic must be cooked
Canna edulis achira, edible canna Andes giant herb tubers, shoots sun to part wet to mesic
Carica pentaloba babaco Andes tree fruit sun mesic
Cedrella sinensis fragrant spring tree Asia tree greens sun mesic
Centranthus ruber red valerian Eurasia herb greens sun to part dry to mesic
Chenopodium bonus-henricus good King Henry Eurasia herb greens, shoots, broccolis sun to part mesic
Cichorium intybus chicory Eurasia* herb greens sun to part mesic
Cnidoscolus chayamansa chaya Mesoamerica shrub greens sun dry to mesic cyanide: must cook
Colocasia esculenta taro New Guinea, Asia herb tubers, greens sun to part wet to mesic must be cooked
Crambe cordifolia colewort Eurasia herb greens, broccolis sun dry to mesic
Crambe maritima sea kale Eurasia herb greens, broccolis, roots sun dry to mesic
Crotolaria longirostrata chipilin Mesoamerica* shrub greens sun mesic must be cooked
Cucurbita ficifolia figleaf gourd, chilacayote Mesoamerica vine fruit, seeds sun mesic
Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa cholla Western North America cactus flowerbuds sun dry to mesic extremely spiny
Cynara cardunculus cardoon Eurasia* herb leafstalks sun dry to mesic
Cynara scolymus globe artichoke Eurasia herb flowerbuds sun dry to mesic
Cyperus esculentus sativus chufa Africa, worldwide grasslike tubers sun wet to mesic sterile strain of global weed
Dioscorea japonica jinenjo Asia vine tubers sun mesic must be cooked
Dioscorea opposita Chinese yam Asia* vine tubers sun mesic must be cooked
Dioscorea trifida cush cush yam Amazonia vine tubers sun mesic must be cooked
Diplotaxis muralis, D. tenuifolia sylvetta arugula Mediterranean* shrub, herb greens sun to part dry to mesic
Dolichos lablab lablab bean Africa vine beans, pods, flowers, greens, tubers sun dry to mesic
Eleocharis dulcis water chestnut Asia** grasslike corms sun shallow emergent aquatic to wet
Ensete ventricosum enset Africa giant herb starchy trunk, tuber sun mesic
Hablitzia tamnoides Caucasian spinach Eurasia vine greens, shoots part shade dry to mesic
Helianthus maximiliani Maximilan sunflower North America giant herb shoots, seeds sun dry to mesic
Helianthus tuberosus sunchoke Eastern North America giant herb tubers sun mesic
Hemerocallis spp. daylily Asia herb flowerbuds, flowers sun to part mesic
Hibiscus acetosella cranberry hibiscus Africa shrub greens sun mesic
Ipomoea batatas sweet potato, boniato Amazonia herb tubers, greens sun to part mesic
Levisticum officinale lovage Eurasia herb greens, shoots, leafstalks sun to part mesic
Lycium chinense leaf goji Asia shrub greens, fruits sun to part mesic spiny
Malva moschata gumbo leaf mallow Eurasia herb greens sun to part mesic
Marsdenia australis bush banana, Austral doubah Australia* vine pods, tubers, greens sun dry to mesic
Moringa oleifera moringa Africa dieback tree greens, pods, bark, tubers, seeds sun dry to mesic
Moringa stenopetala African moringa Africa dieback tree greens, pods sun dry to mesic
Morus alba mulberry Asia* tree greens, fruit sun to part dry to mesic must be cooked
Nasturtium officinale watercress Eurasia** giant herb leaves sun emergent floating aquatic to wet
Nelumbo lutea American lotus North America** giant herb tubers, seeds sun deep emergent aquatic
Nelumbo nucifera Chinese lotus Eurasia** giant herb tubers, seeds sun deep emergent aquatic
Oenanthe javanica water celery New Guinea, Asia** herb greens sun to part emergent floating aquatic to wet
Opuntia ficus-indica, O. robusta, O. streptacantha nopale cactus, tuna Mesoamerica* cactus pads, fruit sun dry to mesic spiny
Oxalis tuberosa oca Andes herb tubers sun mesic
Oxyria digyna mountain sorrel Eurasia, North America herb greens sun to part mesic
Perideridia gairdnerii yampah North America herb tubers sun wet to mesic
Petasites japonicus fuki Asia* giant herb leafstalks part to shade wet to mesic
Phaseolus coccineus runner bean Mesoamerica vine beans, pods sun mesic
Phaseolus lunatus lima bean Mesoamerica vine beans sun dry to mesic
Phaseolus polysanthus cache bean Mesoamerica vine beans sun mesic
Phyllostachys spp. running bamboo Asia* bamboo shoots sun to part mesic
Physalis peruviana goldenberry Andes herb fruits sun mesic
Physalis pruinosa ground cherry North America herb fruits sun mesic
Piper auritum root beer leaf, hoja santa Mesoamerica* shrub greens, leafstalks sun to part mesic
Plectranthus esculentus Livingstone potato Africa herb tubers sun dry to mesic
Psophocarpus tetragonobolus “Day Neutral” winged bean New Guinea, Asia vine beans, tubers, flowers, greens, pods sun mesic
Rheum australe Himalayan rhubarb Eurasia herb leafstalks sun mesic leaves and roots toxic
Rheum palmatum turkey rhubarb Eurasia herb leafstalks sun mesic leaves and roots toxic
Rheum x cultorum rhubarb Eurasia herb leafstalks sun mesic leaves and roots toxic
Rumex acetosa French sorrel Eurasia herb greens sun to part mesic
Rumex acetosella sheep sorrel Eurasia herb greens sun to part mesic
Rumex scutatus buckler-leaf sorrel Eurasia herb greens sun to part mesic
Scorzonera hispanica scorzonera Eurasia herb leaves, roots, broccolis sun mesic
Sium sisarum skirret Asia herb tubers sun to part wet to mesic
Smallianthus sonchifolia yacon Andes herb tubers sun mesic
Solanum muricatum pepino melon Andes herb fruits sun mesic
Solanum tuberosum potato Andes herb tubers sun mesic must be cooked
Solonostemon rotundifolius hausa potato Africa herb tubers sun mesic
Stachys sieboldii Chinese artichoke, crosnes Asia herb tubers sun wet to mesic
Taraxacum officinale dandelion Eurasia herb greens sun mesic
Tetragonia tetragonioides New Zealand spinach Australia herb greens sun dry to mesic
Tilia spp. linden, lime, basswood Eurasia, North America tree greens sun to shade mesic
Tropaeolum tuberosum “Ken Aslett” mashua Andes vine tubers, greens sun mesic
Tropaeolum tuberosum mashua Andes vine tubers, greens sun mesic
Typha spp. cattail Worldwide** grasslike shoots, root shoots, root starch, flowerbuds, pollen sun shallow emergent aquatic to wet
Ullucus tuberosus ulluco Andes vine tuber, greens sun mesic
Urtica dioica stinging nettle Eurasia, North America herb greens sun to part mesic stings
Yucca guatemalensis izote Mesoamerica succulent flowerbuds sun dry to mesic spiny

IMG_7959 IMG_7954

 

 

LOWLAND MONSOON AND HUMID TROPICS: Lowland Hawaii and south Florida are proper tropical climates, completely free of frost all year. This region corresponds with USDA Zones 10–12 and Sunset Zone 25. This climate type could cover monsoon and humid tropical lowlands throughout the world.
Latin Name Common Name Origin Form Edible Parts Sun & Shade Moisture Notes
Abelmoschus esculentus perennial okra Africa shrub pods, seeds sun dry to mesic
Abelmoschus manihot edible hibiscus New Guinea shrub leaves sun mesic
Adansonia digitata baobab Africa tree leaves, fruit, seeds sun dry to mesic
Agave salmiana, A. tequilana tropical agaves Mesoamerica succulent hearts sun dry to mesic spiny
Allium fistulosum Welsh onion Eurasia herb scallions sun mesic
Allium tuberosum garlic chives Asia herb greens, flowerbuds sun to part dry to mesic
Alocasia macrhorrhizos giant taro New Guinea, Australia, Asia, Pacific giant herb starchy trunk, leaves sun wet to mesic must be cooked
Alternanthera sissoo sissoo spinach Amazonia herb greens part shade mesic
Aponogeton distachios water hawthorn Africa** herb flowerbuds, greens sun emergent floating aquatic
Aponogeton madagascarensis water yam Africa** herb tubers sun submerged aquatic
Artocarpus altilis breadfruit New Guinea, Asia tree fruit, nuts sun mesic
Artocarpus heterophylla jakfruit Asia tree young fruit as veg, fruit, nuts, greens sun mesic
Bambusa spp. clumping bamboo Asia bamboo shoots sun to part mesic
Basella alba Malabar spinach Asia vine greens sun mesic
Cajanus cajan pigeon pea Asia shrub beans, pods sun dry to mesic
Canna edulis achira, edible canna Andes giant herb tubers, shoots sun to part wet to mesic
Carica papaya papaya Mesoamerica tree fruit sun mesic
Ceratopteris thalyctroides water hornfern Asia** fern greens sun to shade submerged aquatic to wet
Chamaedora tepijelote tepijelote Mesoamerica palm flowerbuds part to shade mesic
Cnidoscolus chayamansa chaya Mesoamerica shrub greens sun dry to mesic cyanide: must cook
Cnidoscolus palmeri bull nettle Mesoamerica herb tubers sun dry to mesic stings
Cnidoscolus stimulosus spurge nettle Eastern North America herb tubers sun dry to mesic stings
Coccinia grandis ivy gourd, perennial cucumber Africa, Asia* vine greens, fruit sun mesic
Colocasia esculenta taro New Guinea, Asia herb tubers, greens sun to part wet to mesic must be cooked
Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa cholla Western North America cactus flowerbuds sun dry to mesic extremely spiny
Dendrocalamus spp. clumping bamboo Asia bamboo shoots sun to part mesic
Dioscorea alata white yam Asia vine tubers sun mesic must be cooked
Dioscorea bulbifera air potato Asia, Africa, Australia* vine tubers sun mesic must be cooked, some forms toxic
Dioscorea esculenta Asiatic lesser yam Asia vine tubers sun mesic must be cooked
Dioscorea trifida cush cush yam Amazonia vine tubers sun mesic must be cooked
Dolichos lablab lablab bean Africa vine beans, pods, flowers, greens, tubers sun dry to mesic
Eleocharis dulcis water chestnut Asia** grasslike corms sun shallow emergent aquatic to wet
Euryale ferox gorgon plant Asia** giant herb sun deep emergent floating aquatic
Gigantochloa spp. clumping bamboo Asia bamboo shoots sun to part mesic
Gnetum africanum African jointfir Africa woody vine greens shade ?
Gnetum gnemon jointfir Asia tree greens, nuts part to shade mesic
Gynura crepioides Okinawa spinach Asia herb greens sun to part mesic
Hibiscus acetosella cranberry hibiscus Africa shrub greens sun mesic
Ipomoea aquatica water spinach Asia** herb greens sun emergent floating aquatic to wet
Ipomoea batatas sweet potato, boniato Amazonia herb tubers, greens sun to part mesic
Lemna spp. duckweed Worldwide** microherb greens sun floating aquatic
Leucaena esculenta guaje Mesoamerica tree fresh beans sun dry to mesic
Manihot esculenta cassava, yuca, manioc Amazonia shrub sun dry to mesic some forms require processing to remove cyanide
Maranta arundinacea arrowroot Amazonia herb tubers sun mesic
Momordica charantica bitter gourd Asia vine fruit sun mesic
Moringa oleifera moringa Africa tree greens, pods, bark, tubers, seeds sun dry to mesic
Moringa stenopetala African moringa Africa tree greens, pods sun dry to mesic
Morus alba mulberry Asia* tree greens, fruit sun to part dry to mesic must be cooked
Musa x paradisica banana, plantain New Guinea, Asia giant herb fruits, flowerbud sun wet to mesic
Nasturtium officinale watercress Eurasia** giant herb leaves sun emergent floating aquatic to wet
Nastus elatus clumping bamboo Asia bamboo shoots sun to part mesic
Nelumbo nucifera Chinese lotus Eurasia** giant herb tubers, seeds sun deep emergent aquatic
Opuntia ficus-indica, O. robusta, O. streptacantha nopale cactus, tuna Mesoamerica* cactus pads, fruit sun dry to mesic spiny
Phaseolus lunatus lima bean Mesoamerica vine beans sun dry to mesic
Piper auritum root beer leaf, hoja santa Mesoamerica* shrub greens, leafstalks sun to part mesic
Plectranthus esculentus Livingstone potato Africa herb tubers sun dry to mesic
Psophocarpus tetragonobolus “Day Neutral” winged bean New Guinea, Asia vine beans, tubers, flowers, greens, pods sun mesic
Psophocarpus tetragonobolus winged bean New Guinea, Asia vine beans, tubers, flowers, greens, pods sun mesic
Sagittaria sinensis Chinese arrowhead Asia** herb tubers sun deep emergent aquatic
Sauropus androgynous katuk Asia shrub greens part to shade mesic
Sechium edule chayote Mesoamerica* vine fruit, greens, tubers sun mesic
Sesbania grandiflora hummingbird tree Asia  * tree flowers sun dry to mesic
Setaria palmifolia highlands pitpit New Guinea grass shoots sun mesic
Solanum melongena eggplant Asia, Africa shrub fruits sun mesic must be cooked
Solonostemon rotundifolius hausa potato Africa herb tubers sun mesic
Sphenostylis stenocarpa African yambean Africa vine tubers, beans, pods sun dry to mesic
Telfairia occidentalis fluted gourd Africa* vine greens, nuts sun mesic
Trichostigma octandrum Haitian basket vine Mesoamerica, Amazonia, Florida, Caribbean shrub, vine greens sun to shade mesic
Triglochin spp. Australian arrowgrass Australia** grasslike tubers sun shallow emergent aquatic
Wolffia spp. water meal Worldwide** microherb greens sun floating aquatic
Xanthosoma brasiliense belembe, taioba Amazonia herb greens sun to part wet to mesic must be cooked
Xanthosoma saggitifolium cocoyam Amazonia herb tubers sun wet to mesic must be cooked
Xanthosoma violaceum violet-stem taro Amazonia herb greens sun wet to mesic must be cooked
Yucca guatemalensis izote Mesoamerica succulent flowerbuds sun dry to mesic spiny
moringa coppice block

moringa coppice block

 

 

LOWLAND ARID TROPICS: Proper lowland arid tropics are absent from the US and Canada but an important climate type worldwide in Asia, Africa, Latin America and parts of Australia.
Latin Name Common Name Origin Form Edible Parts Sun & Shade Moisture Notes
Abelmoschus esculentus perennial okra Africa shrub pods, seeds sun dry to mesic
Acacia holosericea, A. murrayana, A victoriae edible seed acacias Australia* tree dry beans sun dry spiny
Adansonia digitata baobab Africa tree leaves, fruit, seeds sun dry to mesic
Agave salmiana, A. tequilana tropical agaves Mesoamerica succulent hearts sun dry to mesic spiny
Allium tuberosum garlic chives Asia herb greens, flowerbuds sun to part dry to mesic
Cajanus cajan pigeon pea Asia shrub beans, pods sun dry to mesic
Cercidium microphyllum palo verde Western North America tree beans sun dry
Cnidoscolus chayamansa chaya Mesoamerica shrub greens sun dry to mesic cyanide: must cook
Cnidoscolus palmeri bull nettle Mesoamerica herb tubers sun dry to mesic stings
Cnidoscolus stimulosus spurge nettle Eastern North America herb tubers sun dry to mesic stings
Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa cholla Western North America cactus flowerbuds sun dry to mesic extremely spiny
Dolichos lablab lablab bean Africa vine beans, pods, flowers, greens, tubers sun dry to mesic
Leucaena esculenta guaje Mesoamerica tree fresh beans sun dry to mesic
Manihot esculenta cassava, yuca, manioc Amazonia shrub sun dry to mesic some forms require processing to remove cyanide
Moringa oleifera moringa Africa tree greens, pods, bark, tubers, seeds sun dry to mesic
Moringa stenopetala African moringa Africa tree greens, pods sun dry to mesic
Morus alba mulberry Asia* tree greens, fruit sun to part dry to mesic must be cooked
Opuntia ficus-indica, O. robusta, O. streptacantha nopale cactus, tuna Mesoamerica* cactus pads, fruit sun dry to mesic spiny
Phaseolus lunatus lima bean Mesoamerica vine beans sun dry to mesic
Plectranthus esculentus Livingstone potato Africa herb tubers sun dry to mesic
Sesbania grandiflora hummingbird tree Asia  * tree flowers sun dry to mesic
Sphenostylis stenocarpa African yambean Africa vine tubers, beans, pods sun dry to mesic
Tylosema esculentum marama bean Africa vine beans, tuber sun dry
Yucca guatemalensis izote Mesoamerica succulent flowerbuds sun dry to mesic spiny

 

baobab

baobab

TROPICAL HIGHLANDS – MONSOON TO HUMID: Within the United States and Canada, this region occurs only in Hawaii over although worldwide it is an important climate type. My definition is anything over 1500 meters elevation, including African, Latin American, New Guinean, and Asian highlands with sufficient moisture.
Latin Name Common Name Origin Form Edible Parts Sun & Shade Moisture Notes
Allium fistulosum Welsh onion Eurasia herb scallions sun mesic
Allium tuberosum garlic chives Asia herb greens, flowerbuds sun to part dry to mesic
Alocasia macrhorrhizos giant taro New Guinea, Australia, Asia, Pacific giant herb starchy trunk, leaves sun wet to mesic must be cooked
Arracacia xanthorhiza arracacha Andes herb tubers sun mesic
Bambusa spp. clumping bamboo Asia bamboo shoots sun to part mesic
Brassica oleracea “Colocha” Eurasia herb greens sun mesic
Brassica oleracea acephala “Tree Collards” Eurasia shrub greens sun mesic
Cajanus cajan pigeon pea Asia shrub beans, pods sun dry to mesic
Canna edulis achira, edible canna Andes giant herb tubers, shoots sun to part wet to mesic
Carica pentaloba babaco Andes tree fruit sun mesic
Chamaedora tepijelote tepijelote Mesoamerica palm flowerbuds part to shade mesic
Cnidoscolus chayamansa chaya Mesoamerica shrub greens sun dry to mesic cyanide: must cook
Coccinia grandis ivy gourd, perennial cucumber Africa, Asia* vine greens, fruit sun mesic
Colocasia esculenta taro New Guinea, Asia herb tubers, greens sun to part wet to mesic must be cooked
Crotolaria longirostrata chipilin Mesoamerica* shrub greens sun mesic must be cooked
Cucurbita ficifolia figleaf gourd, chilacayote Mesoamerica vine fruit, seeds sun mesic
Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa cholla Western North America cactus flowerbuds sun dry to mesic extremely spiny
Dioscorea alata white yam Asia vine tubers sun mesic must be cooked
Dioscorea bulbifera air potato Asia, Africa, Australia* vine tubers sun mesic must be cooked, some forms toxic
Dolichos lablab lablab bean Africa vine beans, pods, flowers, greens, tubers sun dry to mesic
Eleocharis dulcis water chestnut Asia** grasslike corms sun shallow emergent aquatic to wet
Ensete ventricosum enset Africa giant herb starchy trunk, tuber sun mesic
Erythrina edulis chachafruto Andes tree beans sun mesic must be cooked
Helianthus tuberosus sunchoke Eastern North America giant herb tubers sun mesic
Hibiscus acetosella cranberry hibiscus Africa shrub greens sun mesic
Ipomoea batatas sweet potato, boniato Amazonia herb tubers, greens sun to part mesic
Lycium chinense leaf goji Asia shrub greens, fruits sun to part mesic spiny
Manihot esculenta cassava, yuca, manioc Amazonia shrub sun dry to mesic some forms require processing to remove cyanide
Maranta arundinacea arrowroot Amazonia herb tubers sun mesic
Moringa stenopetala African moringa Africa tree greens, pods sun dry to mesic
Morus alba mulberry Asia* tree greens, fruit sun to part dry to mesic must be cooked
Musa x paradisica banana, plantain New Guinea, Asia giant herb fruits, flowerbud sun wet to mesic
Nasturtium officinale watercress Eurasia** giant herb leaves sun emergent floating aquatic to wet
Nelumbo nucifera Chinese lotus Eurasia** giant herb tubers, seeds sun deep emergent aquatic
Oenanthe javanica water celery New Guinea, Asia** herb greens sun to part emergent floating aquatic to wet
Opuntia ficus-indica, O. robusta, O. streptacantha nopale cactus, tuna Mesoamerica* cactus pads, fruit sun dry to mesic spiny
Oxalis tuberosa oca Andes herb tubers sun mesic
Phaseolus coccineus runner bean Mesoamerica vine beans, pods sun mesic
Phaseolus lunatus lima bean Mesoamerica vine beans sun dry to mesic
Physalis peruviana goldenberry Andes herb fruits sun mesic
Piper auritum root beer leaf, hoja santa Mesoamerica* shrub greens, leafstalks sun to part mesic
Psophocarpus tetragonobolus “Day Neutral” winged bean New Guinea, Asia vine beans, tubers, flowers, greens, pods sun mesic
Psophocarpus tetragonobolus winged bean New Guinea, Asia vine beans, tubers, flowers, greens, pods sun mesic
Rungia klossii rungia New Guinea herb greens sun mesic
Sechium edule chayote Mesoamerica* vine fruit, greens, tubers sun mesic
Smallianthus sonchifolia yacon Andes herb tubers sun mesic
Solanum melongena eggplant Asia, Africa shrub fruits sun mesic must be cooked
Solanum tuberosum potato Andes herb tubers sun mesic must be cooked
Sphenostylis stenocarpa African yambean Africa vine tubers, beans, pods sun dry to mesic
Telfairia occidentalis fluted gourd Africa* vine greens, nuts sun mesic
Tropaeolum tuberosum “Ken Aslett” mashua Andes vine tubers, greens sun mesic
Tropaeolum tuberosum mashua Andes vine tubers, greens sun mesic
Ullucus tuberosus ulluco Andes vine tuber, greens sun mesic
Xanthosoma saggitifolium cocoyam Amazonia herb tubers sun wet to mesic must be cooked
Yucca guatemalensis izote Mesoamerica succulent flowerbuds sun dry to mesic spiny
mashua

mashua

 

 

TROPICAL HIGHLANDS – ARID: Arid highland over 1500 meters elevation,from Ethiopia tothe Mexican altiplano and beyond.
Latin Name Common Name Origin Form Edible Parts Sun & Shade Moisture Notes
Allium tuberosum garlic chives Asia herb greens, flowerbuds sun to part dry to mesic
Cajanus cajan pigeon pea Asia shrub beans, pods sun dry to mesic
Cnidoscolus chayamansa chaya Mesoamerica shrub greens sun dry to mesic cyanide: must cook
Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa cholla Western North America cactus flowerbuds sun dry to mesic extremely spiny
Dolichos lablab lablab bean Africa vine beans, pods, flowers, greens, tubers sun dry to mesic
Manihot esculenta cassava, yuca, manioc Amazonia shrub sun dry to mesic some forms require processing to remove cyanide
Moringa stenopetala African moringa Africa tree greens, pods sun dry to mesic
Morus alba mulberry Asia* tree greens, fruit sun to part dry to mesic must be cooked
Opuntia ficus-indica, O. robusta, O. streptacantha nopale cactus, tuna Mesoamerica* cactus pads, fruit sun dry to mesic spiny
Phaseolus lunatus lima bean Mesoamerica vine beans sun dry to mesic
Sphenostylis stenocarpa African yambean Africa vine tubers, beans, pods sun dry to mesic
Yucca guatemalensis izote Mesoamerica succulent flowerbuds sun dry to mesic spiny
chaya

chaya

 

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