1. Sweet Potato

A sweet potato vine will eat you before you get to eat it. These amazing plants, once established, put off new growth above the ground at an amazing rate, giving your food garden, edible landscape, or food forest a truly tropical feel as the vines creep and crawl over bricks, up trees, and over banana plants.

The vining ground cover also provides an excellent environment for ground-dwelling grubs like earthworms and slugs that can be eaten by your food forest ducks or chickens.

2. Asparagus

When well fed, asparagus establishes quickly and can grow to some pretty astounding heights. Tolerant of both shade and sun.

Why Asparagus Makes The Perfect Companion Plant For Fruit Trees

How to Easily Grow Enormous Asparagus In A Permaculture Food Forest

3. Sissoo Spinach

4. Earth Apple (Yacon)

5. Tree Collards

Tree Collards are one of the few plants on this list that are grown as an “evergreen” meaning they will technically produce edible leaves throughout the year. The leaves tend to be sweeter in the cool season but are no less edible in the summer.

How to Easily Propagate Tree Collards From Cuttings in a Permaculture Food Forest

6. Rhubarb

7. Longevity Spinach

A beautiful ground cover.

8. Horseradish

Horseradish is a plant that can be propagated by root cuttings and is so vigorous that those cuttings may start to sprout if left some place moist for a few days. It makes an excellent companion plant in heavy soils due to its deep-digging, fast-growing roots and grows well in full sun or full shade, making it an excellent choice of a plant to fill in empty places. But beware, as this plant will regrow from root cuttings, it can take over any area where you dig up its spicy roots. This is something to keep in mind when choosing where you want to grow this wonderful, useful plant.

-How to Grow Horseradish in a No Dig Food Forest

9. Bamboo

Bamboo has many edible varieties but the most popular is the Sweet Shoot Bamboo, Phyllostachys dulcis, which is also known as vegetable bamboo. Bamboo is harvested by waiting for shooting season and harvesting the fresh shoots, before they can harden into what most people recognize visually as bamboo. These shoots can then be cooked in the same way you’d cook asparagus or chopped up to be added to different soups.

-Edible Companion Plants for Sweet Shoot Bamboo (Phyllostachys Dulcis)

How To Grow Bamboo In Wetlands (Bogs) Near Natural Ponds

How To Grow Bamboo As A Companion Plant in Your Edible Landscape

10. Taro

Taro is an edible variety of what most people know as the elephant ear, it is far more cold-hardy than most would believe, surviving snow and popping up in spring as if it never went away for winter. Super easy to propagate by just yanking a small plant out from the mother plant and replanting elsewhere. Does well in heavy, poorly draining clays and can be grown as a marginal plant near a pond.

Taro is one of those great edible plants that you can shove in most any corner of an edible landscape or food forest because it will thrive in full sun or in shade. It also has the benefit of being super easy to harvest, whether you are cutting off the leaves to eat as greens, or yanking out the plant to collect the tubers to eat like potatoes.

11. Okinawan Spinach

A remarkably cold-hardy perennnial spinach that pops up each spring and holds out through most of the fall, giving fresh spinach leaves all throughout the warm season. With its purple coloring, it adds a lovely burst of color to the edible landscape and is easily propagated from cuttings. Okinawan Spinach does well in full sun and in shade, giving you an edible plant that can be squeezed in in any part of your edible landscape in need of a nutritious ground cover.

12. Edible Morning Glory

13. Sea Kale

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