Cutting Celery is also known by the botanical name, Apium graveolens. Cutting Celery is closely related to celery and celeriac, but these particular seeds have been selected and reselected especially for the flavour of their leaves. The leaves taste like celery – it’s a strong flavour – so a little goes a long way, but it’s not too overpowering. I really enjoy the taste of Cutting Celery leaves.
‘Parcel’ or ‘Par-Cel’ is also known by the botanical name, Apium graveolens. This is a hardy biennial plant that produces edible leaves with a strong flavour of celery; Parcel’s stems are edible too, but it is the pungent leaves that this plant is usually grown for. The name of ‘Parcel’ was given because this edible plant has foliage that resembles parsley but when eaten it has the flavour of celery; so the plant’s common name is an amalgamation of the two names – ‘Parcel’.
Primula veris is also known as the Cowslip. Primula veris is very pretty perennial that holds a special place in many people’s hearts, reminding us of country walks and the beauty of nature. Primula veris is a commonly seen wildflower throughout Europe – being known and loved by so many – I am certain this lovely plant has many more common names.
Juniper is also known by its botanical name, Juniperus communis. Juniperus communis is an evergreen conifer with spiky needles. Plants are very hardy and they flourish in exposed and sheltered locations. These plants need a bright and sunny position; Juniperus communis is happy growing in almost any moist but well-drained soil, including stony ground and chalk. When choosing where to plant Juniperus communis, avoid shaded areas and soils that are prone to water-logging.
In the UK, Pinus sylvestris is often known as the Scot’s Pine. However, Pinus sylvestris trees’ native range is extensive, this tree’s majestic kingdom stretches across Northern Europe and further afield, so goodness only knows how many common names this handsome tree has attracted – thank goodness for botanical names, which remain the same – wherever in the world you are.
The Silver Birch (Betula pendula) is one of our most recognisable UK native trees with its glorious silvery-white bark and dainty green leaves. We’re not the only ones to have an affinity with Betula pendula, this stunning tree is a native plant of many countries in Europe and Northern Asia. Betula pendula is a deciduous tree, its leaves turn from green to a buttery yellow before falling in autumn.
In the UK, Prunus spinosa is usually known by its common name – Blackthorn. I am sure that Prunus spinosa has many common names, as this is a widespread plant that can be found growing in the wild across Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. Prunus spinosa can be grown as a shrub, a hedge, or a tree. These plants are very spiny and they often form thickets.
Myosotis scorpioides alba is also known as the Water Forget-Me-Not. This pretty plant requires continually wet conditions; Myosotis scorpioides alba grows in reliably wet bog gardens, as well as in streams, and ponds. If you have a patio garden and don’t have room for a pond you can still grow Myosotis scorpioides alba by creating a container pond or bog garden .
Ranunculus flammula is an aquatic plant with beautiful shining-yellow, bowl-shaped flowers. This plant’s common name is Lesser Spearwort, but it’s very much like a lovely buttercup to grow in a pond! Ranunculus flammula can be grown in streams, ponds, lakes, or continually wet bog gardens; if you don’t have a pond, you could grow Ranunculus flammula in a container filled with rainwater.
Alliaria petiolata is a commonly found wildflower in Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa. Whenever its foliage is bruised, crushed, or trampled, this plant’s leaves release a scent that’s reminiscent of garlic; as a consequence, in the UK, Alliaria petiolata is often called Garlic Mustard, or Hedge Garlic. Another common name for Alliaria petiolata is Jack-by-the hedge, which reflects one of this plant’s habitats and Alliaria petiolata’s prominence as a plant that lines our hedgerows.
Alpine strawberries or wild strawberries (also known by their botanical name Fragaria vesca) are small, low growing, plants that trail along the ground, spreading via runners; these pretty little plants can grow up to around 15cm (6 inches) tall. I adore alpine strawberries! These dainty little plants are utterly charming, with attractive leaves, delightful white flowers, and the delicious red strawberries they produce.
Spinach (also known by the botanical name Spinacia oleracea) is a tasty and fast growing, edible plant that is easily grown from seed. This is a very versatile vegetable with an extended harvest period. Spinach can be grown from seeds sown directly into large containers of good quality compost or seeds can be sown directly in the soil. Spinach plants have a tendency to bolt; plants are most likely to go to seed if the weather is hot or if the plants’ soil or growing medium becomes too dry.
Celeriac (also known by the botanical name Apium graveolens var. rapaceum) is not the easiest vegetable to grow; these plants have a long growing season and the seeds need to be started off in the warmth, fairly early in the season. Celeriac seedlings will need to be protected inside a glasshouse, polytunnel, or conservatory, until all risk of frost has passed.
Skirret (also known by the botanical name Sium sisarum) is a perennial root vegetable, which enjoyed great popularity in the medieval and Tudor periods, but sadly is rarely grown nowadays. I expect Skirret’s fall from favour is due to this vegetable producing thinner roots than carrots and parsnips and therefore being far more fiddly and difficult to clean and prepare than these more popular root vegetables.
Blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum) are hardy deciduous shrubs that thrive in warm and sunny, sheltered sites. These naturally bushy plants will grow in almost any well-drained soil. Blackcurrants enjoy regular watering throughout the summer months; these fruits will tolerate a wetter soil through the growing season, providing the ground isn’t too wet during the winter months. These productive fruits can be grown in full sunshine or partial shade.
Garlic – also known by its botanical name of Allium sativum – is an easy to grow vegetable. I simply adore growing garlic; home grown garlic tastes delicious! I would heartily encourage you to give garlic growing a try. This is an easy to grow vegetable with a fantastic flavour. I love planting garlic in September, October, and November; for me, it feels so positive and exciting to see plants growing during autumn, winter, and springtime.
Salsola soda is a vegetable that’s also known by many common names, including: agretti, roscano, saltwort, Russian thistle, Friar’s beard, Monk’s beard, Barba di Frate, or barilla plant. Plants have a grassy appearance, with stems of needle like leaves, that grow up to around 60cm (2ft) tall, depending on your plant’s growing conditions. This is a mild but delicious tasting vegetable that adds a freshness, which softly and subtly enhances stir fries, risottos, and many other dishes.
Carrots, also known by their botanical name of Daucus carota, are an easy to grow, delicious root vegetable. There are a wide range of carrot cultivars available for gardeners to grow, from the more regularly seen orange coloured carrots, to red, purple, white, or yellow coloured carrots. I enjoy the subtle differences in the taste and texture of the carrots of each colour variation.
Raspberries (also known by their botanical name, Rubus idaeus) are easy-to-grow, shrubby plants that produce delicious tasting berries in varying shades of red, pink, purple, a dark inky shade of purple that almost looks black, yellow, orange, peach, and very occasionally, white. The raspberries pictured in the photograph (taken at my allotment) that accompanies this plant page are still developing, they have yet to colour or ripen.
Asparagus, also known by its botanical name of Asparagus officinalis, is a delectable vegetable, which is made even more appetising when you eat the spears the same day they are harvested. The sooner you eat asparagus spears, the sweeter they taste. Freshly harvested asparagus spears have a familiarly sweet quality, it’s rather like the sweetness we enjoy when we eat freshly harvested sweetcorn.