Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Mustard Family

The mustard family of plants contains quite a few tasty veggies: cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, turnips, radishes, and of course mustard. The family also contains many flowers and weedy plants, few of which I would suspect of being edible – but in fact, they all are!

This is Dame’s Rocket, a pesky-but-beautiful non-native member of the family that has earned itself a place on the Massachusetts Prohibited Plant list. I gave it a taste, and it wasn’t bad, except that the leaves were furry. I would have to be starving to eat a salad made up of furry greens.

Here is another nuisance mustard-family member introduced by gardeners: Yellow rocket, Barbarea vulgaris. Unfortunately I forgot to taste this one before killing it.

This is a weed that I deliberately planted, because it is a native plant, and I am curious about it: Tower mustard, Arabis glabra. (Thanks Marna!)

I love that the unopened buds look like broccoli buds.

After watching my tower mustards bolt, I’m not sure that I find them to be interesting enough to plant in a garden, and the leaves are too small to bother harvesting as edibles. But I may let them go to seed just to grow them in the “lawn”.

Speaking of the mustard family, check out what our friend Hero grew!


hero爺 said...

Michelle san

Excellent report and beautifull pictures, and the eccentric radishe village. Ha.ha.ha.ha.ha...!!

Thank for your great editing!

Pam J. said...

Tower mustard! I think you've helped me identify a lovely weed in my garden that I hoped would turn into something pretty and keepable. Thanks Michelle! (Your baby is too adorable for words BTW.)

Michelle said...

Thank you Hero! Your community of little radish people is adorable.

Hi Pam! Glad I was able to help. (And thanks!)