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.
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Good King Henry’s flavor 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.
Add its ability to grow in the shade, and this is a great plant to add to your forest garden or other Permaculture plantings. Decent groundcover plant – clumping, plant at 1 foot spacing for groundcover. USDA Zone 3-9
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