Hablitzia tamnoides: 10-15’ high x 1 wide / full sun to deep shade / zone 4
Once established, this is a hugely productive climbing vine with a history of edible use in parts of Scandanavia, recently brought to light by edible plant explorer Stephen Barstow. The shoots in the spring can be eaten fresh or cooked, and the mature leaves can be used raw in salads or as a substitute for spinach in any cooked dish you can dream up. They’re very much like a mix between spinach and lettuce; they’re very mild in flavour and have a delightful juiciness when nibbled raw. It needs a trellis or a bush or tree to climb, and we’ve found that it prefers some shade. Our established plants are under an apple tree, and they give us reams of salad leaves throughout the growing season. This is most definitely one of our favourite plants.