Purple Shamrock

There are plenty of Weird and Wacky Plants across the world (as I’ve talked about in this blog post), but did you know that you really don’t have to venture far to experience the best of what the plant world has to offer? There are even Weird & Wacky Plants that you can grow at home AND use in your cooking!

Here are three Weird & Wacky edible plants that I’ve picked out.

Purple Shamrock

Oxalis triangularis

Purple Shamrock

A plant with vibrant purple leaves, Purple Shamrock is actually a really popular houseplant because it’s super easy to grow at home. Ideal for rockeries or pots in well-draining soil, this plant brings a lovely splash of colour to a background of greenery.

Did you know that Purple Shamrock is edible? It can be used to embellish desserts such as lemon cake, thanks to its slightly citric flavour!

Delicately place them on top of your favourite desserts. Their wing-like leaves make them look like butterflies – a sure fire way to wow your guests at dinner parties.

Salty Fingers


Salicornia - salty fingers

Image by Marco Schmidt on Wikimedia Commons

A salt tolerant genus of the succulent family, Salty Fingers usually grows on salt marshes or beaches. Because of its native habitat, it’s ideal for coastal gardens and is incredibly easy to grow in exposed areas of your garden, or even window boxes.

Its finger-like appearance provides the second part of its common name, while the first part comes from the fact that it tastes salty. It can be eaten either cooked or raw, and works really well as a natural seasonal to any savoury dish.

Buzz Buttons

Acmella oleracea

Acmella oleracea - Buzz Buttons

Image by H. Zell on Wikimedia Commons

Originating from Brazil, this plant is, again, super easy to grow. It features fantastic, full foliage – but a really fun part of this plant is its ‘electric daisies’ which, when eaten, cause you to experience a slight tingling sensation in your mouth, hence the name!

They’re safe to eat (as with any new food, be careful if you have any allergies or intolerances), and work best in small quantities due to their intensity.

Try Buzz Buttons in your cocktail! Finely chop up one of the daisies, then mix with salt on the chopping board. Take a lemon and coat the edge of a glass (like you would a margherita), then dip the edge in the mixture. Finally, pour in your cocktail and enjoy the electrifying blend of flavours! If you’d like to see some more weird plants, Flowers Across Melbourne have a great list of 40 of the world’s weirdest.

Have you tried any of these edible plants in your cooking? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!

Watch my video made in conjuction with the RHS, showing you how to use these plants, here:

  • Cecile Mason

    Very informative. I’ve grown the purple oxalis for many years and didn’t know it is edible

    May 9, 2022
  • Stephanie Miller

    I’ve read in multiple places that the purple shamrock is actually poisonous🤔

    July 21, 2022
  • Joe

    I am now trying to grow fast
    -growing edible tubers for a survival-garden. I have known purple shamrock to be a very fast growing tuber; is it possible that it might be edible, like a sunchoke tuber, or poisonous?

    August 1, 2022

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