Herb plants, many species are wonderful tea plants, the best known is Anise hyssop (Agastache  foeniculum), very useful are also Agastach mexicana, ag. rugosa (Korean mint).  Easy to grow in any kind of soil, very adaptable.


One of the ‘lost crops of the incas’, needs warmth and humidity to develop a decent -sized root, which is eaten. The taste is very nice, crisp, sweet, tender.  Don’t eat the pods or dry beans, they contain the poisonous rotenone, which is used as an insecticide.  There are different varieties of ahipa (pachyrhizus ahipa), some grow over 1 meter high, some stay low, just about 40 cms.


Herb with very good tasting edible seeds, ajowan (Trachyspermum ammi) needs lots of warmth to grow, even in my greenhouse it’s a difficult plant.  The seeds taste like carvi and cumin, sometimes they are added to curry powder mixtures.


Smyrnium olusatrum, one of the earliest vegetables in spring, leaves and young shoots (blanched or not) can be eaten, they have a distinct cellery taste.  I have some plants in a very shaded spot, and they grow fine.  The plants are mostly  propagated by division of roots, seeds have to be fresh to have a good germination.


Beside some common grown vegetables (see onion, leek, garlic, chives, shallots) this family has lots of interesting and edible species, I would like to place a big list, but place is restricted so I selected some interesting ones:

oerprei (Allium ampeloprasum) :used in earlier days as ‘perlzwiebel’, the small bulbs were put in vinegar and conserved, can also be used as a wonderful sweet tasting leek alternative.

Bear’s garlic (Allium ursinum): wild garlic alternative, some  semi-woodland places in Belgium still have big patches of this allium, it reseeds easily when grown under the right conditions, and gives a nice harvest of tender garlic-tasting leaves in early to mid-spring

Some others I have: allium senecens, allium nutans, a.canadense, a.cernuum, a.fistolosum, a.proliferum, a.sativum ophioscorodon (with a wonderful cork-screw like twist in the stem when it reaches a decent size),..