Sunday, September 6, 2015

Have Your Sedum and Eat It Too

We finally got a much-needed rainstorm the other day after a long stretch of dry weather this summer.  After weeks with very little rain, I start feeling very thankful for those plants that can withstand some drought and still look good doing it.  My hellstrip, in particular, still looks pretty decent and even has some blooms, despite very little watering from me, thanks to such drought tolerant plants as Alyssum, Nicotiana, Catmint, Coreopsis, and, of course, the often overlooked but hardworking Sedums.

Sedum 'Purple Emperor'
There are an impressive 600 different species of these succulent plants, which are also called 'Stonecrop' as they are often found in the wild growing on rocky ledges.  They are native to the Northern Hemisphere, with several varieties native to North America, and they bloom throughout the summer.  Many people are familiar with Sedum 'Autumn Joy', but I love how there are so many different cultivars out there now, including many with different colored foliage.

Sedum 'Purple Emperor'
This year I planted several Sedum 'Purple Emperor', which has dark purple (almost black!) leaves.  I planted them from small bare roots and am impressed that the little plants are blooming despite having been almost entirely neglected in this dry weather. 

My favorite Sedum in the garden, however, is the chartreuse-leaved Sedum 'Angelina'.

Sedum 'Angelina'
As a creeping ground cover, I have to admit that it is rather hard to weed, but I am in love with its brilliant yellow foliage.  It shoots up stalks of little yellow flowers which some gardeners actually cut off because they detract from the pretty leaves and creeping form.  I leave the flowers as the bees enjoy them, and, well, I don't even have time to trim out the ugly dying things from my garden, much less anything that can remotely be called a pretty flower.  (Guilty Admission: There are some weeds I leave in the garden just because they bloom and aren't crabgrass.)

Sedum 'Angelina' flowers
And just in case you needed another reason to appreciate the hardworking Sedum, did you know you could eat them?  Most Sedums are edible.

Sedum spectabile is reported to have a bland flavor.
I haven't tried it.
(Please note that the exception to this is Sedum rubrotinctum - aka, the 'Jelly Bean plant' or 'Pork and Beans' - which is ironically poisonous.  Also, some of the yellow-flowering Sedums can be slightly toxic if eaten in large amounts.)

Sedum kamtschaticum can be eaten raw when young and tender.  When older, cook briefly to help remove toxicity.
Yeah, I haven't tried this one either.
I haven't tried eating my garden Sedum, but it is apparently good in salads and stir-fries, with the young, tender shoots tasting best.  And good news for gardeners who have the common 'Autumn Joy' - I've read that it is one of the better tasting Sedums.

Yum yum?
Feeling adventurous and looking for a recipe for your garden Sedums?
Here are some online recipes to try:


Sedum kamtschaticum going to seed
Sedum is more popular in Korean cooking, and in South Korea one is more likely to find it at the grocery store.  Here in the US there are very few sources, unless you happen to stumble upon it at a farmer's market or know some people...

A basket of ingredients for the cooking competition TV show Chopped that includes Wagyu rib-eye steaks, jalapeño chips, mangoes - and pink pearl Sedum.

or you could just eat it out of your garden.


Anyone tried it?


25 comments:

  1. Gosh, I had no idea. Hmmm, I'll have to think about that. I do have several species in my garden. :)

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    1. It does make me curious to see how they taste! I might try it next spring, with younger shoots :)

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  2. I have several sedums, and I never dreamed they were edible! I love them because they will grow in my concrete pots, heirlooms passed through the generations, where other plants perish in my hot summer. I remember my grandmother growing sedums in those same pots.

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    1. Oh what a great memory to have and a great tradition to pass on! I have a sedum in a pot too. I usually forget to water my pots, so I need something pretty hardy in them!

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  3. Well it looks like I've just learned my new thing for the day!
    Who would have thought? still I'm not too anxious to get out there and pick a bowlful, I have enough things nibbling through my plants to not want to add to the carnage.
    We have yet to see any rain, and our wet July has the garden and gardener spoiled... making the sedums even more welcome!

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    1. Ha, yeah, I would hate to pick any plants out of my garden right now, especially ones that look decent or are blooming! I can't wait for more rain. I've even had to start hauling water to some of my younger plants and saplings.

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  4. Well, this is news to me! I think I'll pass on trying to eat it, however--I'm still coming up with new ways to fix all the eggplant I have in my vegetable garden:) I've recently fallen in love with the smaller sedums, especially the darker ones like 'Dazzleberry' and 'Cherry Tart,' and have been adding more of those at the front border of the garden. You can't beat sedum for a low-maintenance plant!

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    1. I've had my eye on 'Dazzleberry' - that's a beautiful one! I hear you about produce. I grew cucumbers this year for my husband. I don't really like cucumbers, and he just isn't eating them fast enough!

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  5. I didn't know that, but I only have one small plant. Regarding my rehab video. I didn't think of the sad as none of it was graphic, but the women who run the sanctuary are amazing.... Michelle

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    1. Good to know, you just never know with such videos! That is so great that there is such a resource for animals that need it.

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  6. I had no idea sedum was edible! But with so many varieties, it would be easy to eat the wrong one. I had alyssum sprout this spring from seeds I thought were dead and had thrown out for the birds. The birds ignored them and everything grew! I love it so much I'm scattering more seeds this fall. :o) They even grew in the patio cracks with no water except for rain.

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    1. Thankfully I think the only one you can't really eat, Sedum rubrotinctum, is only hardy to zone 9 or used as an indoor plant, so most people would be unlikely to have it in the garden. That's awesome that the alyssum grew so well! I just love that plant. It's pretty, tough as nails, and even usually self-seeds for next year!

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  7. News to me too on sedum being edible. I don't think they will be on my dinner menus anytime soon. Even though the food on Chopped looks tasty, I bet it often is terrible.They never really have a dish to make at home. At least you got the rain, that big storm missed us completely.

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    1. I kind of feel bad for the Chopped judges - I'll bet they have to taste all sorts of awful food! It is actually raining here now after several days of high heat, so thankful!

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  8. I had no idea! I will nibble on some Sedum tomorrow. If it tastes delicious (something like chocolate would be ideal), I will end up with a Sedumless garden next year. This would be a terrible shame for pollinators and for my enjoyment of my garden, because I use Sedum a lot. It is a fabulous plant. Now I am torn - do I want it to taste hideous, or delicious?

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  9. I just don't have the courage to eat stuff out of the yard if it doesn't resemble something the grocery store sells. Just call me chicken.

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    1. I'm a little tentative, too, but I think I'll try some next spring just to see. It can't be too much worse than dandelion greens, right?

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  10. My sister has sedum in her garden and I like it for the amount of pollinators it attracts. Next time I visit her I will try a little nibble. Maybe ...

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    1. Mine attract a lot of the little bees, which is really nice. I'm rather curious as to how it tastes. The deer and other critters usually pick other plants to nibble on, so that's not much of a recommendation :)

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  11. I didn’t know this either! But many plants in our gardens are edible - leaves, flowers or berries – or all of it so it’s just a matter of knowing what you can safely put in your mouth. I have tried the flowers of Primula vulgaris, said to taste sweet and peppery. I can’t say they taste anything at all…..but when it comes to fuchsias I always let some of the flowers go to seed and eat the berries, as all parts of fuchsias are edible and the berries are quite nice on most varieties. Not sure if sedums will be on the menu here either though :-)

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    1. That is true. Never tried fuchsia berries before! I've heard the daylilies and marigolds in my garden are edible, too, but I've never eaten them. I should really try the marigolds I have, as they are specifically a type that are good for salads and garnish, but I bought because I thought they were pretty. I've just stuck with the more boring and usual nasturtiums and zucchini blossoms :)

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  12. No, I didn't realise the sedum was edible, I will probably give it a miss though. I also didn't realise there were so many sedums, Autumn joy really did seem to monopolise the market.

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  13. I adore so many sedums in my garden, but have never tried eating them...looking forward to trying this with next years garden...cukes are all done for the year here due to the extreme conditions this summer.

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  14. The weedy "graveyard moss," Sedum sarmentosum, is eaten in Korea as "dolnamul." The flavor reminds me of snowpeas but stays in your mouth longer.

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