Caucasian spinach, Hablitzia tamnoides

The Scandinavian Heirloom from the Caucasus

Hablitzia tamnoides is a woodland climber from the Caucasus region that has in recent years become one of the most sought after vegetables amongst permaculturists and enthusiasts of forest gardening. However, until just a few years ago it was a rather obscure plant grown by a few botanical gardens in Europe and a handful of Scandinavian gardeners; that this plant should be one of the most productive and tasty vegetables would certainly have seemed unlikely. Why should this plant be “discovered” in Scandinavia? Well, the plant was originally introduced to gardens in Finland, Sweden and Norway as an attractive climber around 1870. It took only a few years for people to discover that the leaves were also edible.

Now available: Seeds from one Norwegian, one Swedish and one Finnish cultivar, in adition to the wild uncultivated form from Armenia, suited for warmer climates.

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