They are only secret seeds because I bought them and forgot about them, so it is a pleasant surprise when I discover them again. Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Green Goddess’, an arum lily with a white flower with green tips. Poisonous but so many common plants are at some point in their lives and we don’t think about them because in the end, some of them can be familiarly edible, but this one is not, all parts of this one are toxic.
Deadly nightshade is related to so many delicious edible plants, we would probably starve if we stopped to think. Could we ever look another potato in the eye again, or bite into a sweet, juicy tomato, if we considered their deadly background? I was brought up being told not to touch, or shown when it was safe to eat something. I have to wonder at today’s technical children who may be brought up not even knowing where their food comes from, other than a supermarket.
Costmary, Tanacetum balsamita, if you can imagine getting a whiff of mint mixed with balsam, that might be costmary, a complex good all-rounder for eating, medicial, aromatherapy etc. Arriving in the UK in the 16th century, it soon became a common garden herb, even being used in the making of beer before it was superseded by hops.
Crithmum maritimum ‘Rock Samphire’ or sea fennel, can be foraged in some coastal areas, so can tolerate drought or being drenched with salty sea spray. It has become popular as a vegetable in recent years but you can grow it yourself and let the wild plants enjoy their days at the seaside.
Crambe maritima ‘Lilywhite’, seakale. A distant relative of the cabbage and another favourite with Victorians. It’s a very useful vegetable which will grow in exposed corners of the garden which may be inhospitable to other vegetables. Apparently Lilywhite is the best for cooking and blanching, the flowers can be eaten like broccoli and the midriffs cooked like asparagus and tasting a bit like hazelnuts.
Sicana odorifera ‘Casabanana’, from the cucumber family with a difference. They are brown skinned and yellow fleshed. Can be eaten raw or in preserves, according to the description. It has a sweet smell of ripe melon and is fast-growing.
I look forward to seeing if my seed sowing is successful and get the opportunity to try out some new flavours, thanks to my forgotten ‘secret’ seeds.