Good King Henry is just what you want on your plate. From Slow Food UK’s Good King Henry page:
Good King Henry is a perennial plant native to Southern Europe and spread further by the Romans. The plant grows around 75cm high having a long stalk with arrow shaped leaves. It is a semi-wild plant, being cultivated as well as being found in the wild.
The flavour resembles spinach and becomes increasingly bitter as the season progresses. The leaves, stalks and flower buds are edible. The leaves can be boiled, steamed or eaten raw in salads. The young shoots and stalks can be picked before they go hollow and steamed or boiled, eaten like asparagus, while the flower buds can be, for example, sautéed in butter. [continue]
Temperate Climate Permaculture has more about Good King Henry:
This is a small perennial herbaceous vegetable that was once well known in England and central/southern Europe. While it has naturalized in the U.S., it is a rather uncommon food there. Good King Henry is in the same family as spinach, and its leaves are used in much the same way; however, its shoots are eaten like asparagus, flower buds like broccoli, and the seeds are an edible grain. Add its ability to grow in the shade, and this is a great plant to add to your Edible Forest Garden or other Permaculture plantings. [continue]
A few years ago I added Good King Henry to my garden. It’s hardy, easy to grow, and every so convenient.
Do you grow this plant? Have you tried it?
More Good King Henry links:
- Herb to know: Good King Henry – Mother Earth Living
- The renaissance of Good King Henry The Guardian
- Growing your own: Good King Henry
I’ve never come across this in Australia but I’m not surprised by its existence: I hadn’t encountered kale or quinoa until quite recently. Having said that, the name suggests such British heritage that it is surprising it hasn’t made its way to Australia somehow!
I wonder if it’s lurking around in a garden you haven’t visited.