In Production Today – August

My own cultivar of Dai Gai Choi - 'Wynnum Imperial'
My own cultivar of Dai Gai Choi – ‘Wynnum Imperial’

Next weekend, Saturday 11th – Sunday 12th August is my last open day for Open Gardens Australia this year (click on the link if you want details).

Here are the 170 productive plants currently on the August menu at ‘Bellis’, my home.

At this time of year the garden has the widest range of edibles from both temperate and tropical plants, weather permitting.

I could only pick a few leaves of Good King Henry, also known as Lincolnshire spinach (Chenopodium bonus-henricus), as my seedlings are still small. In autumn I planted them into a styrofoam box, which provides drainage and portability, allowing me to move it to various parts of the garden each season. That will help me find the most suitable sun/shade combinations for it. I’m testing this ancient, perennial, wild spinach to see if it’s worth growing in Bayside Brisbane. I first discovered this wild green when I was a student at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK) over thirty years ago. Anyway, the warming conditions are encouraging them to grow larger leaves. Always a promising sign.

Bayside Brisbane is supposed to be frost-free, but we almost had one three times over the past week. Despite draping old net curtains over my tomato seedlings to protect them from cold, half of my stock look bedraggled from the nippy night weather. Cold night air flows down our street. It heads towards Wynnum creek, where it ‘ponds’ sometimes turning the turf white with frost. This chilly air has browned off the leaf tips of the golden sweetpotato growing in the nature strip.

Although it’s not officially spring until 1st September, it’s definitely here. Butcher birds and noisy miners are gathering caterpillars off my vegetables to feed their newly hatched chicks. Chinese cabbage ‘Tokyo Bekana’ are now in flower and the Ceylon spinach, (Basella alba), hasn’t stopped flowering and setting seed since autumn.


White, or Button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus

Edible roots
Aerial potato, Dioscorea bulbifera
Arrowroot, Canna edulis
Cocoyam, Xanthosoma saggitifolia
Daikon or Japanese radish, Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus ‘Long White’
Radish, Raphanus sativus ‘Watermelon’
Turnip, Brassica rapa subsp. rapa ‘Early Purple’
Winged yam, Dioscorea alata

Edible shoots and leaves

Ceylon spinach, Basella alba
Pigeon pea, Cajanus cajan

Edible pods
Podding radish, Raphanus caudatus
Pigeon pea, Cajanus cajan

Edible seed

Chilean Wine palm, Jubaea chilensis
Coffee, Coffea arabica ‘First Fleet’
Pigeon pea, Cajanus cajan
Macadamia, Macadamia integrifolia (Seed source Ormiston House, the second tree to be planted by settlers)
Sword bean, Canavalia gladiata
Edible seedlings

Chickpea, Cicer arietinum
Fenugreek, Trigonella foenum-graecum
Garden pea ‘Dutch Purple Podded’
Lentil, Lens culinaris
Radish, Raphanus sativus ‘Sparkles’
Radish, Raphanus sativus ‘Saxa 2’
Radish, Raphanus sativus ‘French Breakfast’
Snowpea ‘Dwarf Skinless’
Snowpea ‘Oregon Sugar Pod’
Snowpea ‘Melting Mammoth’
Snowpea ‘Delta Matilda’
Turnip, Brassica rapa subsp. rapa ‘Gold Ball’

Edible leaves

Annual nettle, Urtica urens
Bok Choi, Brassica rapa var. chinensis
Cassava, Manihot esculentum
Cassava, variegated, Manihot esculentum ‘Variegatum’
Celery stem taro, aka Tahitian spinach, Alocasia esculenta
Chaplu, Piper sarmentosum
Chervil, Anthriscus cerefolius
Chinese cabbage, Brassica rapa var. chinensis
Chinese cabbage, Brassica rapa var. chinensis ‘Pe Tsai’
Chinese cabbage, Brassica rapa var. pekinensis ‘Tokyo Bekana’
Chinese celery, aka smallage, Apium graveolens
Chinese spinach, Amaranthus tricolor ‘Flaming Fountains’
Chives, Allium schoenoprasum
Common chickweed, Stellaria media
Common oat, Avena sativa
Corn salad, Valerianella locusta ‘Large Dutch’
Coriander, Coriandrum sativum
Curry leaf, Murraya koenigii
Dai Gai Choi, Brassica juncea var. foliosa ‘Wynnum Imperial’ (my own cultivar)
Dill, Anethum graveolens
Endive, Cichorium endivia ‘Green Bowl’
Endive, Cichorium endivia ‘Green Curled’
Ethiopian cabbage, Brassica carinata ‘Old Women Meet and Gossip’
French Tarragon, Artemisia dracunculus
Garden cress, Lepidium sativum
Garlic chives, Allium tuberosum
Green amaranth, Amaranthus viridis
Golden sweetpotato, Ipomoea batatas ‘Marguerite’
Heart leaf ice-plant, Aptenia cordifolia
Huauzontle, Chenopodium berlandieri
Japanese parsley, Cryptotaenia japonica
Kaffir lime, Citrus hystrix
Kale, Tuscan, Brassica oleracea Acephala Group ‘Laciniato’
Kale, variegated, Brassica oleracea Acephala Group
Kohl rabi, Brassica acephala Gongyloides group ‘Purple Vienna’
Kohl rabi, Brassica acephala Gongyloides group ‘White Vienna’
Lebanese cress, Aethionema coridifolium
Lemongrass, Cymbopogon flexuosus
Lettuce, Lactuca sativa ‘First Fleet’
Lettuce, Lactuca sativa ‘Royal Oakleaf’
Lettuce, Lactuca sativa ‘Freckles’ (self-sown under ‘Ducasse’ banana)
Lovage, Levisticum officinale
Love-lies-bleeding, Amaranthus caudatus
Miners’ lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata (syn. Montia perfoliata)
Mizuna, red-leaved, Brassica juncea var. japonica
Mizuna mixed, Brassica juncea var. japonica
Moroccan mint, Mentha spicata ‘Nana’
Multiplier spring onion, multiplier scallion, Allium fistulosum
Multiplier leek, Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum
Mustard, Brassica juncea ‘Giant Red’
Mustard, Brassica juncea ‘Osaka Purple’
Nasturtium, Tropaeolum majus ‘Jewel Mixed’
Native mint, Mentha satureioides
Parsley, Petroselenium crispum ‘Triple Curled’
Parsley, flat-leaved, Petroselenium ‘Giant of Italy’
Phillip Island hibiscus, Hibiscus insularis
Purple fennel, Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’
Radicchio, Cichorium intybus ‘Red Verona’
Radicchio, Cichorium intybus ‘Palla Rossa’
Radicchio, Cichorium intybus
Red mizuna, Brassica juncea var. japonica
Sacred basil, Ocimum tenuiflorum
Shungiku, aka edible chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum coronarium
Silverbeet, Beta vulgaris Cicla Group ‘Rainbow Mixed’
Society garlic, Tulbaghia violacea ‘Variegata’
Society garlic, Tulbaghia violacea ‘Fairy Stars’
Stinking Roger, Tagetes minuta
Tatsoi, Brassica narinosus
Variegated four seasons herb, Plectranthus amboinicus ‘Variegatus’
Vietnamese mint, Persicaria odorata
Watercress, Nasturtium officinale ‘Aqua Large-Leaf’
Welsh onion, aka spring onion, scallion, Allium fistulosum
White peppermint, Mentha x piperita ‘Officinalis’
Wild rocket, Diplotaxis tenuifolia

Edible petals

Cobbler’s Pegs, Bidens pilosa
French marigold, Tagetes patula ‘Himalayan’
French marigold, Tagetes patula ‘Scarlet Sophia’
French marigold, Tagetes patula Mixed
Green banana, Musa x sapientum ‘Pisang Ceylan’
Heartsease, Viola tricolor ‘Johnny Jump Up’

Australian lime, Citrus hybrid
Chilli, Capsicum annuum ‘Siam Gold’
Dwarf pineapple, Ananas nanus
Finger lime, Citrus australis
Green banana, Musa x sapientum ‘Pisang Ceylan’
Kaffir lime, Citrus hystrix
Lime, Citrus latifolia
Lemon, Citrus limon ‘Meyer’
Mandarin, Citrus reticulata ‘Parramatta Sweets’
Pawpaw, Carica papaya
Plantain, Musa x sapientum ‘Bluggoe’
Pumpkin, Cucurbita moschata ‘Jap’
Winter melon, Benincasa hispida

Medicinal / Spices
Aloe vera – leaf juice used to heal sunburn, scratches
Bulbine frutescens – leaf juice used to treat burns, rashes, as an infusion for sore throats
Cinnamon, Cinnamomum verum
False cardamom, Alpinia nutans
Galangal, Alpinia galangal – spice used like ginger with similar properties
Ginger, Zingiber official – spice that helps decongestion of catarrh, aids digestion, blood flow
Greater celandine, Chelidonium majus – stem juice kills warts on hands
Phillip Island hibiscus, Hibiscus insularis – used as a tea to soothe sore throats
Rosemary, dwarf, Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Benenden Blue’
Rosemary, fastigiate, Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Miss Jessopp’
Thyme, Thymus serpyllum – antibiotic, used as a gargle against sore throats
Turmeric, Curcuma long – spice with anti-cancer properties

169 taxa

Jerry Coleby-Williams
4th August 2012


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Helen Cuk says:

    I have just dug up my edible ginger and have found it has very small rhizomes and very well developped roots. I inherited this ginger, some from a friend and some was already in the garden of the house we bought last year. I have previously had great success growing ginger in polystyrene containers and am very disappointed with this year’s harvest. Can you tell me what has happened?
    Helen Cuk

    1. I can suggest only.

      Possibly too much competition for space, possibly it hasn’t had consistent care (water, nutrient during growing season), possibly insufficient sun, possibly too much drying wind.

      Ginger must be rejuvenated by lifting, divided and the most vigorous parts replanted during the dormant period in order to get strong growth.

      Never eat the best rhizomes, use them for propagation.


  2. Marg HObson says:

    Hi Jerry, I visited our garden last Saturday and purchased a ground cover, similar to a garlic, which you have growing as a border in your front garden. Have now forgotten the name. Can you enlighten me? Thanks, Marg Hobson, Kewarra Beach FNQ

    1. Dear Marg,

      We sold multiplier spring onions (cylindrical leaf in cross section) and multiplier leeks (flat leaf in cross section).



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