Edible perennials for your Home & Farm Landscape

A Food Forest!

Similar to companion planting in the vegetable garden to enhance the flavour of the food we grow and the vigour of our garden crops, we can also plant perennials that work together in synergy and feed us too.  When done properly this helps our landscape, no matter how big or small, to become more productive and resilient.  Perennial plants work together to provide lots of food, medicine, habitat, and nectar in just a small space.  To know how to fit plants together we need to know how and where each plant grows, if it needs sun or shade, and how it competes with other plants.  Most importantly, take time to observe nature and to understand how to work as part of nature and with it too.

Pay attention to the latin name of each plant and then varieties of species that are more suited to our climate and hardiness zone. (Zone 4 (Northern NB) to Zone 6 (Halifax).

In table below, you will find edible and medicinal perennial plants that can be grown in Atlantic Canada, their latin name, and parts used (both edible and medicinal). Please verify which plant parts are edible versus medicinal before consuming. Great resources are the Peterson Field Guides: Medicinal Plants and Herbs, and Edible Plants – Eastern Canada.

TREESSHURBSHERBSVEGETABLES
Apple
Malus sp. (heritage)
Fruit
Hazelnut
Corylus sp.
Nut
Raspberry
Rubus sp.
Leaf, Fruit
Good King Henry
Chenopodium bonus-henricus
Leaf
Pear
Pyrus sp.
Fruit
Elderberry
Sambucus canadensis
Sambucus nigra

Flower, fruit
Blackberry
Rubus sp.
Leaf, fruit
Asparagus
Asparagus officinalis
Shoot
Cherry
Prunus sp.
Fruit
Highbush Cranberry
Viburnum trilobum
Bark, fruit
Bluebead Lily
Clintonia borealis
Leaf
Rhubarb
Rheum rhabarbarum
Leaf
Plum
Prunus sp.
Fruit
Highbush Blueberry
Vaccinium corymbosum
Leaf, fruit
Borage
Borago officinalis
Leaf, flower
Sea Kale
Crambe maritime
Leaf
Chestnut
Castanea dentata
Nut *note zone
Hascap
Lonicera caerulea
Fruit
Sage
Salvia sp.
Leaf
Jerusalum Artichoke
Helianthus tuberosus
Root
Butternut / Buartnut / Heartnut
Juglans sp.
Nut
Currant
Ribes sp.
Fruit
Thyme
Thymus sp.
Leaf
Horseradish
 Armoracia rusticana
Root
Walnut
Juglans sp.
Nut
Serviceberry
 Amelanchier spp.
Fruit
Oregano
Origanum sp.
Leaf
Chives
Allium sp.
Leaf, flower
Shagbark Hickory
Carya ovata
Nut
Rose
Rosa sp.
Flower, fruit
Strawberries
Fragaria sp.
Leaf, flower, fruit
Ostrich Fern
Matteuccia struthiopteris
Shoot
Pine
Pinus sp.
Nut
Gooseberry
Ribes sp.
Fruit
Dandelion
Taraxacum officinale
Leaf, flower, root
Nodding Onion
Allium cernuum
Bulb
Oak
Quercus sp.
Nut (esp. white oak)
Chokeberry
Aronia Melanocarpa
Fruit
Sweet Cicely
Myrrhis odorata
Leaf
Cattail
Typha sp.
Shoot
Maple
Acer rubrum / Acer saccharum
Sap
Northern Bayberry
Myrica pensylvanica
Leaf
Northern Kiwi
Actinidia agruta
Fruit
Lovage
Levisticum officinale
Leaf
Table of edible/medicinal plants for Eastern Canada gardens