Life.Ecology.Food.®

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  • Perennial green leaf
  • Herb
  • Food forest

Good King Henry

Chenopodium bonus-henricus

Excellent hardy and nutritious perennial spinach.

PLANT TYPE Herb

PLANT HABIT Deciduous perennial

USES Culinary

DESCRIPTION

Excellent hardy perennial spinach for cooking greens from spring to autumn. Young leaves can be used in salads. According to the USDA database, Good King Henry is the third most nutritious edible leaf there is (First: Stinging nettle, Second: Rose Bay Willow Herb, making it also the most nutritious that doesn’t taste like grass!). The plant’s perennial nature and tap root ensure its’s a great accumulator of nutrients.

Makes a great edible floor to wild/forest orchards as it’s vertical taproot doesn’t interfere or compete with the horizontal roots of most orchard varieties, and enjoys the moist partially shady conditions. Plantings of GKH are a great way of generating mass amounts of greens for poultry.

RECOMMENDED LOCATION Pot, Kitchen garden, Forest garden, Wildlife garden

Aspect Partial sun, Shade, Moist shade, Moist partial shade, Moist full sun

Height 80cm

Spread 80cm

Hardiness Hardy

Origin/history

The plants name is derived originally from the German, “Guter Henrick” refers to elves in Saxon folk tales

Good King Henry is a perennial plant native to Southern Europe and spread further by the Romans.
Good King Henry is originally a native of the Mediterranean but appears to have been spread by the Romans. Has been grown and used as a pot herb in Britain for the last 5000 years.

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Good King Henry