What unusual vegetables should I grow that I've never heard of?

Anybody growing creasy greens? Id like to trial some in my garden but never tasted them before. I think now is planting time correct?

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Creasy greens grow wild here. It seems like a lot of years February is when they’re ready to harvest.

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This year I planted some hopniss I got from Oikos. Vigorous (easily 20 foot vines), healthy, and now they have beans. Lots and lots of beans. I’ve found plenty of information about cooking the roots/tubers, but very little about the beans themselves. Any advice?

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When I was 5, my mom and I shared a nut; probably pecan. Afterwards we found half a worm in the shell. She said I ate it. I said she ate it. We laughed. That has been a fond memory that we continued to laugh over for 50 years. Still smile when I think of it. Still eat nuts too.


Up date on Chinese yam.
Well , I was unsure ( still am ) of what to do with this root I purchased in Aug.
( see post 206 , August 11 , above )
I ate some, kept in the refrigerator for a month . Not sure if it would grow at all since the the top had been cut off, no sign of a bud, growing point. Not sure what to do with it as it is late summer not much growing season left outside. …?
Mid September I put it in a large pot,( 5gal, ) put in a open stairwell area inside , and tied a string up to a very high ceiling.
Well my fear that it would not grow are over ! !
In “the last month” it has grown 16 + ft up that string.! ! !
Now I think it will need more than a little string.
If it keeps going , it will need a strong rope.
Not sure what will become of it ?
As it should be outside in the ground , just got it during the wrong season. Hoping I can move out in the spring .


I distributed seeds to forum members for free a couple of years ago. The long growing requirement mean you likely need to over winter them in side.

yup…but while tomatoes may come up a week after they are planted…ground cherries will take about 3 weeks to come up. We are in zone 5b and every year I get fooled into thinking that they aren’t going to show up…probably not an issue further south where the warmer temperatures in the spring start earlier…but it is almost 2 months after everything is greening and growing before you even notice the small ground cherry seedlings coming up…so, it is well into September before we get fruit…often they are in full stride as the frosts hit…so it does pay off to start them indoors…they also do better than most other things do in containers…and you will want to keep mice chipmunks and squirrels off them… or you won’t be harvesting many for yourself

Oca,Oxalis tuberos, Is an Clover plant that produces edible roots. A native food from the Andes never coughs on like the potato.


I love the red and yellow color . what it tastes like?

I never have not tasted them yet. My first attempt to grow didn’t go well as I moved that year and couldn’t attend to the ones I planted at my parents. Cultivariable’s site has loads of info on many Andes’s root crops. The Oxalis genus gets it name from oxalis acid. So the roots often have a degree of sourness to them. If left in the sun starches turn to sugars and they become sweet. But its best to just read his page on the subject. I ordered the random 10 and will try again next year.

They look interesting.I want to try to grow them next year

You can find them on Ebay or from this breeder.

Ok.thanks for the link.

OneGreenWorld has them in their “Andean Tuber” section. There’s some pretty varieties there.

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I’ve got ONE nice big fruit (started late), and its still green :frowning_face:. I’m either going to bring it into the garage for the cool weather, or I’m just cutting it off and seeing if it will ripen in a bag with an apple. This would make an interesting houseplant, its just spiky and mildly dangerous to touch.

Are Solanum species interfertile? Could this cross with my tomatoes?

Only unusual in the North, but I love growing Southern Peas. Living in Arkansas opened my eyes to the diversity and potential of this vegetable. I’ve only grown them one season in New Hampshire (this one), but they definitely work, at least the short season varieties. Even with our cool, wet early summer, my zipper cream peas pulled through and gave me a good harvest from August-mid September. Timing wise, it’s kind of like growing tomatoes, except you direct sow. They start ripening around the same time and produce about as long.

Also, radicchio de Treviso tardivo (late Treviso radicchio) is amazing! It needs to be hit by a few frosts, dug up, and then forced in a manner similar to Belgian endive. A little tricky on the home scale, but worth the effort. Grilled or roasted, it will show you what radicchio should taste like.


I’m growing Chaya (Cnidoscolus chayamansa), Florida Pistachio (edible Jatropha curcas), Enset and Chocola (Jarilla chocola)


I’m dying to grow peas, I’ve got my eye on the tendril varieties, but I don’t think they could take my heat. I tried Fava Beans (a close relative) just before summer, a variety originally from Guatemala, and the plants were struck with a blight. None survived to flowering, though I blame the blight a bit less than the heat and dryness – I didn’t irrigate.

I’m growing a day-neutral variety of Winged Bean from Baker Creek Seeds. The plants died back to the roots after giving me a pair of pods, and they’ve now grown back and are flowering profusely, with one big pod so far. My hand for scale in the last picture (with a pair of purple yam bulbils):

I tried Hopniss (Nutty #3 from OIKOS), but vine growth was somewhat meager the first season. With one survivor, I’m hoping the tuber will put on some more growth this season, and multiply into more tubers for propagation. I’m not sure if this particular variety sets seed on its own. Both of these bean species are sharing containers with yam vines, so that may account for decreased vigor.


That’s Peperomia pellucida alright. It’s a fairly common weed here, but nobody eats it. I’ve tried it, and found its flavor strangely minty, though I don’t recall the nuances (it’s been a while).

@cousinfloyd @Hillbillyhort

I’m collecting yams. Chinese Yam hasn’t been as vigorous for me as I’d like, but it’s a survivor, and with good starchy flavor. I got purple yams, Guinea yams, and several edible air potatoes to name a few. Yams are awesome! I also have Cocoyams (Colocasia esculenta, Xanthosoma spp. & Amorphophallus paeoniifolius).


I tried Oca early this year (varieties Mockrocks, Sockeye and Puka Ñawi), with Ulluco (Queets), Mashua (Copalis) and Mauka (seed-grown Blanco), all from Cultivariable. All I can say is, they really don’t like heat. Mashua was hit the worst, I fried one tuber by planting it in a sunny location. I placed the second one in deep shade, but while it did put out meager growth, it eventually succumbed to a stem rot (still not sure what dealt the killing blow, but the heat didn’t help).

Mauka put on some pretty good growth initially, but as the seasons got hotter, it would occasionally die back and return small. I put it in shade near the Mashua (though brighter), and it exploded with growth again. I lost 3 plants after returning them to the sun, and have one lone survivor, which I plan to put in a shady spot in-ground once it puts on a bit of growth.

Oca and Ulluco did surprisingly well for me, for a time, but between the excessively moist soil I used for them and the shady location, they started succumbing to stem rot. They died around the same time as some of the Mauka, after putting their containers in full sun.

I did neglect my plants in preparation for some family travels, which I feel contributed strongly to my Andean Tubers’ demise. I doubt Mashua will ever do well for me, but I think there’s a legitimately decent chance that Oca and Ulluco would do well for me, provided I plant them directly in the ground, in a well-drained yet irrigated, brightly shaded location (I’ve got a spot behind the house, near the vegetable garden, which would be the perfect spot, with mostly morning sun). I haven’t had a chance to try the others yet, but I placed an order for Oca (Wishkah), which I’m hoping to do better with this time around.

The last Andean tuber, common for y’all but exotic when grown in my neck of the woods, is the humble potato. I’ve sent again for some GRIN accesions, aiming to develop them for a tropical environment. Heat, moisture, pest and disease resistance, pigmentation, all of that, in diploid, tetraploid and wild stock. Tuberosum, andigena, phureja, cardiophyllum, ehrenbergii, and a few other wild species. I predict heavy losses in the first seasons, but once the survivors are apparent, selecting and improving upon the best performers should be simple enough. In the meantime, Potato Mint (Plectranthus rotundifolius) is giving me decent harvests.


@Caesar the kind I’m talking about are cowpeas, Vigna unguiculata, aka black-eyed peas, cream peas, lady peas, crowder pea, purple hull peas, etc. Same species as yard long beans. They absolutely thrive on heat. The zipper cream peas I grow taste a bit like sweet peas, but are much earthier. I got mine from Southern Exposure. http://www.southernexposure.com/vegetables-southern-peas-cowpeas-c-3_121.html?zenid=7FogGCZD6WRHXBJXgk2WF0

I’m sorry to hear about your fava beans! Those can be really tricky unless the climate is just right, but they are so worth it when it does work out. You might try Vroma fava, which is supposed to be a bit more heat tolerant. From my experience, it’s only a little more.

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Understood. And thanks for the link! I’ll be looking into those Zipper Cream peas (and the Vroma). ¿Are yard long beans any good?

I had a sizable patch of Peanuts and Edamame that were doing well, but I didn’t get to harvest them prior to the trip. The peanuts are coming up again now, but I suspect the pigeons ate the edamame. I still have 5 seeds left of both edamame and fava beans (Ianto’s) in storage… Insurance for just such an occasion.