Exploring Edible Plant Life

Garden researcher Andrew Townesmith with his edible plant life booksNew insights and discoveries about the role of plants as food are being made every day, close to home and around the world. For the last 10 years, Andrew Townesmith, research specialist at the Garden's William L. Brown Center, has been exploring the vast field of edible plant life with his taste buds, sampling more than 450 different edible plants to date.

Join us on a culinary adventure throughout our yearlong Foodology celebration as Andrew shares findings, recommendations and recipes from his many taste tests.


Persimmon Pancakes

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A sweet start to a day using the complex flavor found in persimmons.
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Video: Cooking with Echinochloa

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Andrew prepares Moraiyo Khichdi, a savory recipe using "samo seeds."
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Pawpaw: A Sweet, Pulpy Pleasure

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Pawpaws (Asimina triloba) are often described as the largest fruit native to North America, and are delicious whether eaten raw or otherwise prepared.
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Species Obscurity

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It’s not always easy to be sure which plant species is the source of a particular vegetable found in the supermarket.
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Cultivar Cuisine

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Edible plants are often bred selectively for increased size of the edible part of the plant, but when multiple parts are edible, various forms may be grown where each edible parts has increased in size. This process can lead one species of plant to produce vegetables with markedly different appearances.
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| Categories: Foodology | Tags: kale, collard greens, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, broccoli, vegetables | View Count: (2417)

A Life List

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One of my hobbies is adding edible plants to my “life list.” A life list is a concept I’ve borrowed from birdwatchers, many of whom maintain a list of all the birds they have seen in their lives. I maintain a list of all the plants I’ve eaten.
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Throughout 2013, the Garden is inviting everyone to dig deep into the roots of food, think about plants on their plate in whole new ways, connect and share with others and get inspired...
Dig in!
Food Plants of the World

Food Plants of the World book coverDiscover some new edible plants to try out in your kitchen. Food Plants of the World: An Illustrated Guide, one of the references Andrew uses, is available in the Garden Gate Shop.