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Herbs - CulinaryHerbaceous Perennial

Chenopodium bonus-henricus

good King Henry

An edible perennial with tiny yellowy green flowers and bright mid-green arrow-shaped leaves. Can be eaten raw or cooked and tasting similar to spinach. Keep picking for tasty and tender leaves, and to avoid the plant running to seed too soon

Other common names
all good
blite
see moreEnglish mercury
false mercury
fat-hen
flowering dock
friar's pot herb
good Henry
goosefoot
Lincolnshire asparagus
mark weed
markery
mercury
mercury goosefoot
perennial goosefoot
Roman plant
shoemaker's heels
wild mercury
wild spinach
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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
1 year
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained, Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Yellow Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full shade
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or North–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Amaranthaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright, Bushy
Genus

Chenopodium can be annuals or perennials, with often mealy stems and foliage, simple or lobed leaves and minute flowers in termianl or axillary clusters, in a few species followed by colourful fruits

Name status

Correct

Plant range
C & S Europe (Mts)

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in any well-drained fertile soil, in a sunny or semi-shaded position. In the ideal growing conditions they can grow quite rapidly and may require staking if they become too tall

Propagation

Propagate by seed, sow indoors in early spring or sow direct in early summer, once the soil has warmed up

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
Pruning

Harvest the leaves as required, to keep the plant compact and cropping well. Only pick lightly in the first year after planting

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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