Morgan Botanicals

  (Loveland, Colorado)
Herbal Information and Recipes
[ Member listing ]

Can You Say "Alice Advocates Alluring Alliums"?

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

Alice advocates alluring alliums, and so do I!

Well, it's that time year; time to start planting those Alliums, like onions, chives, garlic, shallots and leeks. Did you know Allium, the onion genus, has over 700 species, making it one of the largest plant genera in the world.

I love planting alliums for their flowers as well as their bulb vegetable. They are amazing specimen plants in the garden, and if you don't mind the smell, these umbel shaped blooms might become one of your favorite flowers too. Whether fresh-cut or dried, they are a favorite of flower arrangers as well. Alliums come in so many different colors from, pinks, yellows and whites, to blues and purples.

There are so many Alliums highly recommended for decorative purposes, so why not enjoy their unique blossoms and fragrance in the garden as well as grow them for food. These bulbs are among the easiest of all vegetables to grow and most of them store well, so it is not difficult to maintain a year-around supply.

 

But, some of my favorites Alliums grown for their flowers include:

Blue of the Heavens (Allium azureum) for its small summer blossoms in the purest cornflower blue.

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) for their short, fluffy, pinkish-lavender blossoms and edible use.

Ornamental Onion ( Allium giganteum) which can reach 4 feet with very large violet balls highly prized in the bouquet.

Lily Leek (Allium moly) for the half-shady garden, its foot high spring yellowy-gold umble flowers can't be beat.

Blue Globe (Allium caerueum) for its production dense clusters of bright blue flowerheads up to 1 inch wide.

Daffodil Garlic (Allium neapolitanum) this heirloom has been grown since the 1800's for its fragrant smell and purest white globes.

So try growing some of these "Flowering Onions", because they are exotic, unique and great fun. 


As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 
 

Sea Kale: The Perennial With Multiple Edible Uses

 

Jessica Morgan, M.H.I love sea kale: not only for its edible shoots, leaves and flowerbuds, but for its ornamental presence in the perennial garden as well. Sea kale was quite the rage in the late 1700's but sadly has lapsed into minor-vegetable status. I personally like having a garden made up of unusual plants with multiple edible parts. I enjoy tucking perennial vegies here and there into the landscape border.

Sea kale (Crambe maritima) is a clump forming perennial growing about 3 feet high and wide. The plants grey-blue foliage is much like true kale (Brassica oleracea), but the flowers are white and produced in large masses. I think it's a beautiful plant in any garden as well as the vegetable garden, as these plants can provide good harvests for up to 10 years.

The main crop of sea kale is in the spring shoots. The blanched asparagus-like shoots are cut at 6-9 inches and have a slight hazelnut flavor. The flowerbuds, resembling broccoli heads, are not only beautiful and fragrant but also have very good flavor. The leaves of first and second year plants can also be eaten, and taste like collards. In the fall, after flowering is complete, the leaves of more mature plants can be eaten. Roots can be used raw or cooked, usually boiled or steamed like asparagus and served with butter.

Sea kale is hardy to Zone 4 or colder, and also succeeds in Mediterranean climates as well as South to about Zone 8 on the East Coast and cooler summers on the West Coast. You can easily propagate by division or multiply by using root cuttings. But, like asparagus, sea kale is slow to grow the first and second year, and should not be harvested until the third year. This perennial thrives in a rich fertile soil and performs best in full sun.

Although sea kale has never achieved commercial success, it's still an enduring vegetable and well worth the space in your garden.

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 

 
 
RSS feed for Morgan Botanicals blog. Right-click, copy link and paste into your newsfeed reader

Calendar


Search


Navigation


Topics


Feeds


BlogRoll