Ornamental Edible Plants

Beta vulgaris var. cicla ‘Bright Lights’ – A colourful selection of Swiss Chard which looks as good in the garden as it does on the plate – featuring stems of red, yellow, orange, pink and white. This colour often extends into the midrib and veins of the glossy green to bronze foliage. It is also a RHS Award of Garden Merit winner and a good container specimen. Grows 12-18″ tall. Biennial.

Prunus persica – Peach trees make fine ornamentals with their bright rose-pink early spring blossoms and clear orange autumn tones. Here in coastal BC Peach Leaf Curl (‘Frost’ is the most resistant) is a problem, so grow them espalier-style under the eave of a south or west wall. Almost all peaches are self-fertile. Grows 20-25′ tall without dwarfing rootstock. Hardy to zone 5.

Cornus mas ‘Variegata’ – Variegated Cornelian Cherry can be a large multi-stemmed shrub or small tree. The rather attractive foliage has white marginal variegation which shifts to red in the fall. ‘Variegata’ is a very slow growing cultivar that also has tiny bright yellow flowers along its bare stems in late winter – followed by edible red berries that are adored by birds. This RHS Award of Garden Merit winner grows 15-18′ tall and 12-15′ wide. Zone 5.

Malus ‘Dolgo’ (syn. ‘Pink Glow’) – An easy-to-grow Crabapple with spring blooms of shell-pink buds opening to fragrant white flowers. It is also very cold hardy and a heavy producer, with abundant red (or deep rose-pink) 1.5″ long apples that are superb for making jelly or preserves (spiced crabapples). This cultivar is self-fertile and grows up to 30′ tall without dwarfing rootstock. Zone 3.

Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Reka’ – A highbush blueberry of New Zealand origin that tolerates our heavy wet soils quite well. The medium-sized berries are produced in large clusters in the early season. Other ornamental attributes include white heather-like flowers and reliable burgundy-red autumn tones. This blueberry is self-fertile but produces better with a cross-pollinator. ‘Reka’ grows 4 to 6′ tall and 4 to 5′ wide. Hardy to zone 4.

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