Good King Henry
Chenopodium bonus-henricus
Uses: Culinary/Medicinal Duration: Perennial (hardy in zones 3-9)
When to Sow: Spring/Late Summer/Early Fall Ease of Germination: Easy
(Mercury) Highly nutritious potherb rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C; used since Neolithic times and brought to Europe about 5,000 years ago where it has since naturalized there. Clump forming with dark green leaves, reaching about 60cm in height. An interesting example of a once-common food that has since been forgotten and is seldom cultivated, although it can still be found growing around abandoned homesteads. It was a typical ingredient of medieval vegetable soups from the 12th to the 16th centuries, combined with leeks, chard and bread in a tasty, vitamin-rich broth that sustained the peasant farmers. Although it is not as popular as it once was, its value should certainly not be underestimated, as a handy perennial offering a fresh source of greens all year round! Shoots can be cooked like asparagus and leaves can be used like spinach, tasting better when cooked as it breaks down oxalic acid, the compound that contributes to its bitterness. Medicinally, it is a remedy for indigestion and constipation. It thrives in full or partial sun in neutral soil.
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Currency: United States Dollar

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