Naturally Native – Culinary Plant Range

This selection of native vegetables is available at garden centres throughout the North Island.

Grow these vegetables and post or email  us your favourite recipes using them. Any of the recipes sent in may be used in a Naturally Native publication or on our website at a later date. Here's a spinach recipe to get you started.

The Plant Range

NZ Spinach - Tetragonia tetragonioides

NZ spinach is a rambling plant up to 1m wide. The leaves are bright green and somewhat fleshy. It is especially useful vegetable for over the summer, when Spinacea species are prone to bolt, as it tolerates hot and dry conditions really well. Best used cooked, it can replace spinach in any recipe but remember that it doesn’t wilt quite as much so fewer leaves are needed.

Captain Cook included this plant in his ‘greenstuff’ for salads and broths for his crew. It has been cultivated as a vegetable since 1809.

NZ Celery - Apium prostratum

Native celery has thick grooved stems and a thick, deep taproot. It is a creeping plant. In the wild it is found throughout New Zealand along the coast. The leaves and stems can be eaten raw or cooked and the seeds can be used for flavouring. Select the larger outside stalks leaving the rest of the plant to grow. This was one of the plants Cook used to prevent scurvy among his crew.

Cook’s Scurvy Grass - Lepidium oleraceum

This is a strong smelling plant that grows up to 50cm tall. It is a coastal plant that was once very common throughout New Zealand but is now quite rare partly due to stock grazing. but It needs to be protected from the white butterfly caterpillar exactly as you would cabbage or other brassica.

NZ Cress - Rorippa divaricata

This plant grows in a rosette up to 30cm tall. The green leaves taste like watercress and can be used in exactly the same way.


 

 

 

 


NZ Spinach - Tetragonia tetragonioides


NZ Celery - Apium prostratum


Cook’s Scurvy Grass - Lepidium oleraceum


NZ Cress - Rorippa divaricata

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