Herbaceous Plants

Autumn / Winter 2018-2019

£2.50 unless priced otherwise      * = nitrogen fixer

Babbingtons Leek Allium ampeloprasum Perennial native wild leek. Harvest green leafy shoots or dig up basal bulb. Propagates by bulbils in flower heads.
*Birdsfoot Trefoil Lotus corniculatus – native grassland and lawn perennial, excellent N-fixer, drought resistant, bee and butterfly plant, edible flowers -‘Bacon and Eggs’.
*Greater Birdsfoot TrefoilLotus uliginosus Wetland version of above, can scramble into shrubs up to 2 metres. Needs a moist to wet soil.
Alexanders – Smyrnium olusatrum – winter active, summer dormant, shade tolerant, ideal partner for under deciduous trees, all parts edible, strong aromatic flavour, milder when eating flowers or young roots in summer, when they are starchy like parsnips.
*Clover, StrawberryTrifolium fragiferum – native perennial, similar to white clover in that its creeping stems root at the nodes. Pink flowers darken in fruit and make the head resemble a strawberry. N-fixer, bee plant. Good on clay and on coasts.
*Clover , Sulphur trifolium ochroleucon – native perennial to 50cms, patch forming by rhizomes, yellow flowers. Likes clay. N-fixer and bee plant.
*Clover, Zig-zagTrifolium medium – native perennial similar to Red Clover but makes large patches through rhizomes. Likes clay. N-fixer and bee plant.
Horseradish – plant in a spot where it can stay forever – its difficult to get rid off, but doesnt spread much. Peppery root for sauce and also very good grated over winter soups.
Iris, Stinking or GladdonIris foetidissima – native to S.Britain – evergreen iris to 100cms. Flowers yellow and/or purple. Medicinal. Smells like high meat when bruised. Wet or dry soils, acid or alkaline. Attractive orange seeds exposed when seed pods split.
Iris, Yellow or FlagIris pseudacorus -native wetland species – large bright yellow flowers, but all parts of plant maybe toxic. Yields dye, oil, ink and tannin. Rhizomes supplied autumn.
Ladies BedstrawGalium verum – native grassland wildflower, excellent as a living cushion for an outdoor seat. Drought resisting, attractive frothy yellow flowers.
QuamashCamassia – edible bulbs that divide rather than grow to a useful size – but very attractive blue flowers and a tough little plant. Sold out
Camassia leichtlinii alba – a larger version of the above with egg-sized bulbs and white flower spikes to 90 cm. Readily seeds and will self sow. A natural prairie plant – give it an open site. Best cooked slow-baked. Supplied as single bulbs   Sold out
Giant Bellflower – Campanula latifolia – native of damp woods and meadows. Up to 1.2 metres. Edible flowers, leaves also but they can be tough.
Harebell – Campanula rotundifolia -short native dry grassland plant, suits any drysoil. Edible flowers, leaves as above.
Knapweed, Common Centaurea nigra – native grassland plant to 60 cms. Edible flowers, medicinal, insectary.
Knapweed, GreaterCentaurea scabiosa – as above but on limy soils, to 90cms. Excellent insectary and medicinal.
Lady’s Smock – Cardamine pratensis – native damp grassland plant, flowers late March thru till June. Edible flowers and leaves, though develops an unpleasant taste after early spring. One of the few British wildflowers that will reproduce from leaf cuttings, so good for mown lawns.
Marsh CinquefoilPotentilla palustris – native wetland plant, leaves as a tea, roots yield dye and tannin, and medicinal. Needs a wet site. Attractive dark red flowers.
Meadow SaxifrageSaxifraga granulata – native dry grassland plant with bright white flowers, increases by bulbils at the base.
Pignut Conopodium majus – native grassland and open woodland umbellifer, active late winter to June. Edible swollen root with good flavour. May be the origin of ‘gathering nuts in May’.
Climbing Spinach – Hablitzia tamnoides. Hardy perennial scrambling relative of spinach. Deciduous – old stems die down and new stems grow each spring – like hops. Seems to thrive in sun or in the shade on the north side of a wall. Flowers [tiny] and seeds freely. Tastes to me a bit like nettle. Will probably do very well next to a fertility source – the compost heap or tree bog. Seems to be largely pest and disease free. £6.00 sold out
RamsonsAllium ursinum – Wild Garlic – native woodland carpeting plant – young leaves delicious, awsome with cheese, white garlic-scented flowers in May.
Salad BurnetSanguisorba minor – native grassland wildflower with cucumber flavoured leaves. Seeds itself readily.
SaffronCrocus sativus – its the stigmas that are the spice – autumn flowering and needing full sun and good drainage.Sold out
Sanicle – Sanicula europaea – woodland floor and leaf mould lover, leaves are a famine food, but main use is medicinal.
SilverweedPotentilla anserina – native ground cover plant, attractive grey leaves and yellow flowers, edible small storage roots and shoots.
Sweet Cicely – native perennial with sweetish mildly aniseed taste. The large young seeds are especially good to eat when still soft and green.
Tree Onion – perennial onion producing small pickling size onions instead of flowers.
ValerianValeriana officinalis – native tall herb of moist meadows and woods, roots yield a powerful sedative and are very attractive to cats. Also a mineral accumulator and insectary. Attractive white/pink flowerheads, spreads easily by rhizomes.
Wild Marjoram  – native wildflower, happy on rocks or soil, needs sun, good bee plant and insectary, not strongly flavoured so leaves are pleasant in a salad. Self sows freely.
Wild Sorrel – native easy grassland plant with delicious acid, lemony leaves.
Running Alpine Strawberry – spreads by seed and runners to make a fruiting ground cover. Fruits midsummer to first frosts.
Woodruff – shade tolerant woodland floor native New mown hay scent when dried.
TsiHouttuynia cordata Creeping ground cover, best in moist soil, eaten in Asia raw/cooked. Medicinal qualities. Attractive white flowers. Sold as roots.

DAY LILLIES – Hemerocallis species. @ £5.00 each

All parts edible, usually interest is concentrated on the the flower buds or open flowers, which can be eaten raw or lightly cooked. Young spring leaves and larger roots edible also. Flowers once open last for a day but are produced in succession over a few weeks.

H. dumortieri – yellow flowers, late May Sold out

H. fulva flore pleno ‘Kwanso’

Grown for its edible flower buds in China, but also a superb ornamental, spreading to make a wide clump, large orange/bronze flowers if you leave them to open. Early July.

H. middendorfii – yellow flowers early May

H. thunbergii – yellow flowers late June, relatively large buds for its medium height and size.


Acorus calamusSWEET FLAG – scented strewing herb and spice [root] for still watersides.
Butomus umbellatusFLOWERING RUSH – beautiful UK native, edible tuber, still/slow water.
Cyperus longusGALINGALE – medieval spice – violet scented tuber – easily grown in wet soil or shallows.
Darmera peltataUMBRELLA PLANT – edible leaf stalks – summer ground cover – soil stabilizer. £5.00
Houttuynia cordataTSI – deciduous creeping herb to 60 cms, citrus-scented, eat leaves raw/cooked.
Houttuynia cordata plena – double flowered form of above, both will grow in damp soil or shallows.
Iris foetidissimaSTINKING IRIS – evergreen, likes damp or drier soils, only roots smell, orange seeds in split pods.
Iris pseudacorusYELLOW FLAG – native yellow Iris, not edible but gorgeous in bloom, and tough.
Lysimachia punctataDOTTED LOOSESTRIFE – deciduous herb to 60cms, will spread to smother smaller plants. Wet or dry soils.
Mentha aquaticaWATER MINT – sweetly scented erect mint for wet soils, tea, and scented walks.
Pontederia cordataPICKEREL WEED – edible seeds/ leaves. Shallows/ wet soil, spreading. £5.00
Sagittaria sagittifoliaARROWHEAD – shallow water plant producing edible tubers.
Typha latifoliaREEDMACE, BULRUSH – multiuse native margin plant, a neglected cornucopia.
Valerian officinalisVALERIAN – tall medicinal herb, wet or dry soils, pink flowers.