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Vegetables contain a number of essential nutrients and are an important part of a healthy diet. They play a vital role in prevention of diseases and maintenance of overall health. One should try to consume vegetables on a regular basis to enjoy the various nutritional benefits offered by them. Vegetable gardening is practiced by many as a hobby or leisure activity as the joy of using home-grown vegetables adds extra flavor to any dish! How about a garden that provides vegetables all year round without even having to replant them every season? These are known as perennial vegetables and are a boon for lazy gardeners. All you have to do is plant them once and enjoy the produce for many seasons to come! Given the right conditions, these plants will live for more than two years. No replanting, no tilling, and not much maintenance is required to grow them.

Growing perennial plants reduces soil erosion that occurs due to the process of tilling. By avoiding tilling, you disturb the soil less. This allows the roots to grow deep into the soil, making the plants sturdy as well as resistant to drought and frost. Perennial vegetables serve as an integral part of cultural diets in many parts of the world. A number of wild plants and common weeds are also perennial and are often used in salads. Let us have a look at some of these common examples of perennial plants:

Leafy Vegetables
  • Buckler Leaved Sorrel (Rumex scutatus)
  • Canna Lily (Canna sp.)
  • Chicory (Cichorium sp.)
  • Comfrey (Symphytum sp.)
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  • Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus)
  • Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria)
  • Herb Patience (Rumex patientia)
  • Lovage (Levisticum officinale)
  • Marsh Mallow (Althea officinalis)
  • Musk Mallow (Malva moschata)
  • Pink Purslane (Claytonia sibirica)
  • Salad Burnet (Sanguisorba minor)
  • Sea Beet (Beta vulgaris ssp. Maritima)
  • Katuk (Sauropis androgynus)
  • Pacific Spinach (Abelmoschus manihot)
  • Okinawan Spinach (Gynura crepioides)
  • Ceylon Spinach (Basella rubra)
  • Brazilian Spinach (Alternanthera sissoo)
  • Winged Bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus)
  • Turkish Rocket (Bunias orientalis)
  • Wild Rocket (Sisymbrium officinale)
  • Winter Purslane (Claytonia perfoliata)
  • Winter Savory (Satureja montana)
Root Vegetables
  • American Groundnut (Apios americana)
  • Camas (Camassia quamash)
  • Chinese Artichokes (Stachys affinis)
  • Elecampane (Inula helenium)
  • Hardy Yam (Dioscorea batatas)
  • Jerusalem Artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus)
  • Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum)
  • Mashua (Tropaeolum tuberosum)
  • Oca (Oxalis tuberosa)
  • Pig Nuts (Bunium bulbocastanum)
  • Skirret (Sium sisarum)
  • Sweet Cecily (Osmorhiza sp.)
  • Ulluco (Ullucus tuberosus)
  • Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius)
Stem and Flower Vegetables
  • Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)
  • Broccoli (Brassica oleracea)
  • Cardoons (Cynara cardunculus)
  • Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
  • Globe Artichokes (Cynara cardunculus)
  • Hops (Humulus lupulus)
  • Sea Kale (Crambe maritima)
Other Vegetables and Greens:
  • Arrowhead (Sagittaria sagittifolia)
  • Arugula Rocket (Diplotaxis erucoides)
  • Earth Pea (Lathyrus tuberosus)
  • Elephant Garlic (Allium ampeloprasum)
  • Galangal or Thai Ginger (Alpinia galangal)
  • Garlic (Allium sativum)
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
  • Golden Shallots (Allium cepa var. aggregatum)
  • Horseradish (Amoracia sp.)
  • New Zealand Spinach (Tetragonia)
  • Peruvian Parsnip (Arracacia xanthorrhiza)
  • Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum)
  • Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas)
  • Taro (Colocasia esculenta)
  • Turmeric or Indian Saffron (Curcuma domestica)
  • Water chestnuts (Eleocharis dulcis)
  • Welsh Onion (Allium sp.)
  • Three-cornered Leek (Allium triquetrum)
Some of the plants mentioned above are used for their leaves as well as stems, flowers, and roots. This means that all parts of the plant are edible. You can grow these vegetables in your home garden to enjoy their benefits for years!