These varieties have been grown in the Pioneer Garden over the years
**Dates are approximate to when it was introduced to American Gardens
**Dates are approximate to when it was introduced to American Gardens
AMARANTH – Amaranthus tricolor, Joseph’s Coat 1700s From Mediterranean. Red, green, and yellow leaves; 4-6 ft tall. Good for salad greens when young. Ornamental
ASPARAGUS – The Romans were first to cultivate asparagus from the wild. Heirloom asparagus can only be grown from seed. It takes 3-4 years to harvest. It is a very hardy perennial.
BEANS - bush, dry – Vermont Cranberry 85 days. 1700s. Most attractive of all dried beans. A beloved bean in New England since the Eighteenth Century, used in soups and for baking.
BEANS - pole – Scarlet Runner 65 days. 1877. (Phaseolus coccineus) One of the oldest runner beans in existence. Known as early as 1750 according to Miller’s Dictionary; listed in America as early as 1822 by Thorburn. Used for ornamental purposes or as a vegetable: small snap pods or green shell beans. Can substitute for limas in cooler climates.
CABBAGE – Drum Head Savoy Pre 1885. Savoy varieties are as tasty as cauliflowers which has increased demand for seed. Originated in France.
CARROT – Nantes 72 days. The old standard American carrot. Dark orange with blunt ends. Fresh, crisp taste. Good keeper.
CORN – Stowell’s Evergreen 1820. (Zea mays) In the early 1800s, after years of refining this strain, Nathaniel Newman Stowell sold two ears of seed for $4.00 to a friend who agreed to use it only for his private use. His “friend” then sold the seed for $20,000. Stowell’s variety is still the leading white sweet corn for home gardens and market growers. 80-100 days.
CUCUMBER – Boston Pickling Cuke Pre 1880. Per DM Ferry 1930, this is a very productive variety that is grown for pickles. The fruits are bright green, of medium size, very smooth.
EGGPLANT – Long Purple 75 days Pre 1860s. Fruits are long and slender and slightly bulbous on the blossom end. Best harvested when 1" in diameter. The dark purple fruits can be sliced like a cucumber.
HORSERADISH – Classified as an herb. In the late 16th century, horseradish was cultivated mainly as a medicinal herb. Since 1640 it has been considered a flavoring herb.
KALE, Brassica oleracea Remarkably attractive dark green kale with red veined, frilly, tightly curled leaves. A vigorous performer with good cold tolerance. Begin harvesting leaves when young, and allow plant to grow well into the early winter. 60 days from transplant.
LEEKS – Giant Musselburgh 130 days 1830s from France. Large thick
stems; mild flavor. Extremely winter hardy. An old favorite. LETTUCE – Oakleaf 45 days Popular since 1840. Tolerates hot, humid weather. Stands well without becoming bitter or bolting to seed. A true performer in our Pioneer Garden for years.
LETTUCE – Red Deers Tongue 52 days. Is believed to have originated in the mid-16th Century. It remains popular and stands out as it has exceptionally good flavor and texture. Tolerates both heat and cold.
PEPPER, SWEET – Bull Nose Bell – Capsicum annuum Grown at Monticello by Thomas Jefferson and listed in 1863 by Fearing Burr. Crisp fruits ripen from green to red with excellent flavor. Productive, sturdy plants. 55-80 days
PEPPER, HOT – Hinkelhatz Capsicum annuu) Cultivated by the Pennsylvania Dutch since the 1880s; name translates as chicken heart. Traditionally used for pickling and making pepper vinegar. Small fruits ripen from green to glossy red. 80-90 days
POTATO – Early Rose 1861 Large yields of long tubers have pink skins and white flesh. Midseason
PURSLANE – Golden A salad green used in mixed salads, boiled as spinach or pickled. Harvested over a long period.
RAT-TAILED RADISH Raphanus sativus Native to South Asia. Grown for the crisp, pungent, edible seedpods (up to 6 inches long) and not for the roots. Pods should be gathered before fully mature and eaten raw, pickled, or chopped in salads. 50 days.
RHUBARB – Victoria. Before 1863. A standard still today. Reliable and
hardy. Very productive.
SPINACH – Red Malabar Not a true spinach. Species-Basella rubra. Heat
loving Asian vine with lovely red stems and delicious succulent leaves used in salads or cooked. Vigorous vines need trellising.
SWISS CHARD – Rhubarb. 1857 Crimson stalks and leaf veins contrast green crinkled leaves. Eaten raw in salads or as cooked greens.
SUNFLOWER – Black Mammoth 85 days. Confectionery. Stalks average 9' tall and may reach a height of 10' or more. Heads average 11" across, with some reaching 14".
TOMATO – Cherokee Purple 80 days. Grown in Tennessee by Native Americans of the Cherokee Tribe. The 6 inch, 12 to 16 ounce fruit comes in shades of dusty rose to purple with greenish shoulders. Known for its sweet candy after taste.
TOMATO – Old German 75 days. 1 ½ - 2 pound fruits, golden yellow with red to pink strips. A Mennonite family heirloom from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
TOMATO – Yellow Pear 78 days Pre 1805 Indeterminate pear-shaped, mild flavor. Very productive and heat resistant. The fruit are 2" long and grow in clusters.
ALYSSUM, SWEET – Late 1700s Annual. Honey-scented, tiny white flowers. This profusely white-blooming little plant became very popular for massing at the front of the border.
AMARANTH – Love-Lies-Bleeding Annual Grown before 1786. Long, exotic chenille-likes ropes of rich red. A staple grain of the Incas and Aztecs.
BACHELOR’S BUTTON, – Centaurea cuanus 1600s from Mediterranean region. Once known as cornflower or Hurt-sickle because it grew among corn and its wiry stems could blunt a sickle. A blue ink was made from the juice of the petals. Ability to stay fresh in a boutonniere. 30” tall.
BLACKBERRY LILY – Belamcanda.. Perennial from Asia. Is
actually an iris. Produces small, orange, spotted trumpet-like
flowers that only last a few days. 2-3 ft. tall. Developing seeds resemble blackberries. Used seed pods in dried bouquets.
BLACK-EYED SUSAN – Rudbeckia. Perennial, 1700-1776. Native. Yellow daisy-like flower with dark center. 32”. tall. Blooms in summer CLARY SAGE – Salvia viridis S horminum Annual 1700-1776 Has papery purple bracts that last for a long time in the garden. 1.5-2 ft tall
CLEOME – Spider flower Annual. 1817 from West Indies. Spider-like blooms on 4-5 ft. stems
CELOSIA – Giant Cockscomb Mid 1700s Annual native throughout the tropics. Strange, crested, scarlet combs are furrowed and lobed.
LADY’S MANTLE – Alchemilla mollis 1800-1850 Perennial native to Eurasia. Circular leaves are toothed and pleated. Tiny hairs on leaf surface catch and hold drops of rain or dew. Loose clusters of small greenish yellow flowers.
PURPLE CONEFLOWER-Echinacea purpurea. Perennial. Native wildflower. Used for centuries by Native Americans to stimulate immune system. Vigorous plants have large, purple-petaled flowers with large center cones. Blooms summer through fall.
ZINNIA – Persian Carpet Annual Shades of burgundy and yellow predominate. The flowers are 1 ½" across and both semi-double and double.