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Asian Greens at a Glance

August/September 2010

Barbara Pleasant

Many leafy green types can be harvested young. Days to maturity for them shown below range from edible baby greens to mature plants. Learn more about growing Asian greens in All About Growing Asian Greens.

 

Type

 

Description

 

Varieties

 
LEAFY GREENS     
Asian mustards (Brassica juncea, B. rapa)Variations include mizuna, mustard spinach, tatsoi, red mustards and more. Vigorous, fast-growing plants rarely have pest problems, New leaves regrow from plant crowns after harvest. Cool weather triggers the production of sugars in leaves, which serve as natural anitfreeze. The sugars balance out bitterness, improving flavor.

‘Kyoto Mizuna’ (30 to 50 days)

‘Osaka Purple’ (30 to 50 days)

‘Tatsoi’ (40 to 55 days)

‘Vitamin Green’ (21 to 45 days)
Garland chrysanthemum
(Chrysanthemum coronarium)Also called Shungiku and choy suy.

Fragrant greens can bring a floral note to soups, stir-fries and sushi. Flowers also are edible. Try them scattered over soup.

‘Round Leaf’ (21 to 59 days)

‘Shungiku’ (21 to 45 days)

‘Tiger Ear’ (21 to 45 days)
STEMS AND RIBS     
Chinese Cabbage (B. rapa)
Also called Napa cabbage and celery cabbage.
 

Plants mature quickly and are easier to grow than heading lettuce. Their crisp, mild-flavored leaf ribs make great slaw.

‘Fun Gen’ (45 days)

‘Minuet’ (F1) (48 days)

‘Soloist’ (F1) (50 days)
Bok choy (B. rapa)Also spelled "pac choi" and "pak choi."  

Best of all miniature vegetables and quite easy to grow, bok choy is exceptional if stir-fried whole, halved or chopped.

 

‘Ching Chang’ (40 days)

‘Green Fortune’ (F1) (48 days)

‘Violetta’ (F1) (30 to 50 days)
FLOWER BUDS     
Chinese broccoli (B. oleracea)Also called sprouting broccoli and flowering broccoli.  

Cooking and cool weather tame plants’ slightly sharp flavor. Plants produce sprouts for several weeks and can be grown through winter in Zone 7 and warmer.

‘Green Lance’ (F1) (45 days)

‘Green Sprouting’ (60 days)

‘Purple Peacock’ (70 days)
Flowering mustard (B. rapa)
Also called choy sum and choi sum.
Slender stems with delicate flowers taste best if they mature in cool weather. A small family will need only a few of these highly productive plants to keep the kitchen sufficiently stocked.

‘Choy Sum’ (50 days)

‘Hon Tsai Tai’ (37 days)

‘Kosaitai’ (50 days)
 Locate sources for these Asian greens varieties with our custom Seed and Plant Finder.

Contributing editor Barbara Pleasant gardens in southwest Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers and a few lucky chickens. Contact Barbara by visiting her website or finding her on Google+.





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