Edible Landscaping & Gardening

Plant Descriptions, Cultivation Tips, Lore, Trivia, Cultivars
by Ben Sharvy

"God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed it is the purest of human pleasures."
--Francis Bacon

This database lists every perennial plant that is worth growing for the sake of its produce, and that is hardy in at least 3 USDA hardiness zones; it also contains a selection of the most popular perennial herbs. Every plant listed here will survive temperatures down to at least 15 F without special care, and to at least 10 F with special care.

Update.You can get all this and more as a Macintosh application, for only $15. The application comes with images for every plant (except the dandelion!), and the average image quality is higher than at the Web site (the photo for pineapple guavais typical). I might convert the photos to a cross-platform format upon request. There is a full-featured search engine, so that you can select only those plants that, say, will grow in zone 4, do not reject soggy soil, and attract birds. More info.

I have produced some brilliant political philosophy related to self-sufficiency.


Resources (bibliography, WWW resources, and sHOpPiNg)
Green Thumb Guide | Web Site FAQ
Commentary: [in progress]

Plant Index

Almond (Prunus amygdalus) ...photo
Apple (Malus pumil)
Apricot; Golden Apple (Prunus armeniaca)
Artichoke, Globe (Cynara Scolymus)
Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)
Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
Bamboo, Giant (Phyllostachys spp.)
Bay; Laurel (Laurus Nobilis; Umbellaria californica)
Blackberry (Rubus ulmifolius; R. ursinus) ...photo
Blueberry, Highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum)
Blueberry, Lowbush; Huckleberry (Vaccinium angustifolium)
Burnet (Poterium sanguisorba)
Chayote; Mirliton; Vegetable Pear (Sechium edule)
Cherry, Nanking; Downy C; Mountain C (Prunus tomentosa)
Cherry, Sour (Prunus cerasus)
Cherry, Sweet (Prunus avium)
Chestnut, Chinese (Castanea mollisima)
Chestnut, European; Spanish C. (Castanea sativa) ...photo
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum; A. tuberosum) ...photo
Chokeberry, Black (Aronia melanocarpa)
Citrus, Hardy (various)
Cornelian Cherry; Cornel; Cornet Plum (Cornus mas)
Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
Currant, Clove Black; Buffalo C. (Ribes odoratum; R. aureum)
Currant, European Black (Ribes nigrum)
Currant, Red; White C. (Ribes sativum; R. rubrum; R. petraeum)
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Elderberry, American; Sweet E. (Sambucus canadensis) ...photo
Fig (Ficus carica)
Filbert, European; Hazelnut (Corylus avellana) ...photo
Gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa; R. hirtellum)
Grape, American (Vitis labrusca)
Grape, European; "The Vine" (Vitis vinifera)
Grape, Muscadine; Scuppernog (Vitis rotundifolia) ...photo
Gumi; Cherry Elaeagnus (Elaeagnus multiflora)
Hickory (Carya ovata; C. laciniosa)
Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
Jostaberry (Ribes nidigrolaria) ...photo
Jujube; Chinese Date (Ziziphus jujuba) ...photo
Kiwi, Arctic Beauty (Actinidia kolomitka)
Kiwi, Hardy (Actinidia arguta) ...photo
Kiwi; Yang Tao; Chinese Gooseberry (Actinidia deliciosa)
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Lingonberry; Cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)
Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica)
Lovage (Levisticum officinale)
Medlar (Mespilus germanica) ...photo
Mint; Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
Mulberry, Black (Morus nigra)
Onion, Tree; Egyptian O.; Catawissa (Allium cepa aggregatum) ...photo
Oregano; Wild Marjoram (Origanum vulgare)
Passionfruit; Maypop (Passiflora incarnata)
Pawpaw; Michigan banana (Asimina triloba )
Peach; Nectarine (Prunus persica)
Pear, Asian; Sand Pear; Apple Pear (Pyrus pyrifolia)
Pear, European (Pyrus communis)
Pecan (Carya illinoensis) ...photo
Persimmon, American (Diospyros virginiana)
Persimmon, Oriental; Kaki (Diospyros kaki)
Pineapple Guava; Feijoa (Feijoa sellowiana) ...photo
Pistachio (Pistacia vera)
Plum, European; Prune (Prunus domestica)
Plum, Japanese (Prunus salicina)
Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
Quince (Cydonia oblonga)
Raisin Tree (Hovenia dulcis)
Raspberry (Rubus idaeus; R. occidentalis)
Rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum)
Rose Hips; Rugosa Rose (Rosa rugosa; R. eglanteria)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinale) ...photo
Russian Olive; Oleaster (Elaeagnus angustifolia)
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Saskatoon; Serviceberry; Juneberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
Savory, Winter (Satureja montana)
Sea Buckthorn; Sea Berry (Hippophae rhamnoides)
Sorrel; English Sorrel; Sour Dock (Rumex acetosa)
Strawberry (Fragaria X Ananassa )
Strawberry, Alpine; Fraise de Bois (Fragaria vesca) ...photo
Strawberry, Musk; Hautbois (Fragaria moschata) ...photo
Tarragon, French (Artemisia dracunculus)
Thyme; Lemon Thyme (Thymus vulgaris; T. citriodorus)
Walnut, Black (Juglans nigra)
Walnut, Persian; English Walnut (Juglans regia)

Copyrights. I asked several nurseries for permission to scan the photos from their catalogs. Raintree and St. Lawrence agreed to provide you with that resource at no charge: you are encouraged to reward them in the obvious way. The scans from Raintree are grainy because Raintree is environmentally conscious and prints its catalog on recycled, non-glossy paper which scans poorly--their plants are large and top-notch. I haven't decided whether to use the drawings from St. Lawrence (they're pencil drawings), but they are already on the Web at the St. Lawrence's site, so you can always view them there. I have no affiliation with any nursery (in fact I've never purchased from St. Lawrence).

Last update: 30 OCT 04

Edible. Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.
Ambrose Bierce. The Devil's Dictionary.