These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

We continue acquaintance with cereal plants, learning their amazing and endless world. They are interesting not only filigree decorative, but also versatility and versatility of use. Today they will appear before you in a somewhat unexpected role – as food plants. Consider those that we grow in the country and those that can be harvested in nature.

At the same time, we will not talk about traditionally grown grains (wheat, barley, rye and so on). All these cereals are so good that I can not say also about their decorative (a little, literally a little).

Phyllostachys

These are large rhizomatous East Asian bamboos, in the South they are truly luxurious.

P. viridi-glaucescens is native to Northern China.

These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

Bluish-green stems up to 10 m straight, drooping. The convex internodes are dark purple. Leaves are small, narrow. Rapid growth ends in the spring. Requires control (in comfortable conditions can grow indefinitely) for the spread of: the only obstacle, limiting his blue-green-reservoirs. This is one of the most hardy species.

P. aurea is native to Southeastern China. In the wild does not occur, perhaps it is an old garden form of some Chinese species.

These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

Reaches a height of 2-10 m. Yellowish stems are thin, with shortened ugly lower internodes. The leaves are narrow-lanceolate, up to 15 cm long. the Growth and development of young shoots occurs in early summer. Frost-resistant appearance.

P. nigra is native to Eastern and southern China. In its natural form is unknown, perhaps it is a long-standing decorative form of P. puberula.

These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

It is a height of 3-5 m wide and 2-3 m, this is the graceful look. By the end of the second year of life, its thin, slightly inclined stems acquire a brownish-black color. The leaves are small, 4-13 cm long, narrowly lanceolate. Growth and development of young stems occurs in early summer.

Features of cultivation. All of them are not selective with respect to soils, but are demanding of their humidity.

These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

They are most decorative in well-lit areas with fertile loose soil. Transplanting and reproduction of leafcutter parts of the rhizomes is quite complicated: no matter how you try to dig a large lump, it will still not be enough roots to immediately provide water to the leaves. Therefore, on transplanted bamboos, they curl, wither, and the stem dies. With the growth of new straws at first comes disappointment, as in the first years after planting they are thin and low. And only after 10 years of cultivation grow typical (in height and thickness) for this species stems.

These magnificent tall cereals as if created for the East Asian style of southern villas.

These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

They emphasize the beauty of curved bridges, pergolas, lanterns. They’ll be great at the tea house. Bamboos harmoniously look with Japanese maples, decorative dogwoods, luxurious magnolias.

Application. Young bamboo shoots are sweet, crispy. They are prepared vegetable dishes, added to soups (like our potatoes), canned, combined with rice and seafood, and so on. I once had a chance to try boiled young shoots of blue-green leafcutter, flavored with butter and sprinkled with sesame salt. Exotic, unusual.

These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

Anthoxanthum odoratum

This fragrant perennial is common in the far East, where it grows, according to botanists, everywhere. But the paradox: it is rarely grown in the country, as it is difficult to get seeds. The uniqueness of the plant lies in its delicate aroma-there are few grasses in nature that smell so nice.

These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

Forms neat loose turf. The flowering period lasts from late may to June. The green cylindrical spikelets reach a height of 50 cm.

Features of cultivation. Unpretentious. But at an institution control of self-sowing is necessary! To avoid such a situation, beginning to turn yellow inflorescences are cut. Hardy: withstands -28.9…-34.4°C.

Application. Leaves and stems contain coumarin, which gives the plant a sweet pleasant aroma. Moreover, freshly harvested raw materials smell of hay, and vanilla-nut flavor appears only after drying (the smell is extremely stable: it is felt for several years, if you store the raw materials in hermetically sealed jars).

These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

Raw material (herb) is harvested in the flowering period. Cut plants are tied in bundles or laid out in 1 layer in the sun and dried, and only then remove the stems and rough parts at the roots. Dry crushed raw materials are used for infusion, which then becomes an ingredient of house wine. Dry crushed herb Anthoxanthum odoratum is an additive to snuff and Smoking tobacco. As a food flavoring, this plant has long been used in the preparation of strong drinks, liquor, for food essences, in soap making and perfumery.

These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

In addition, it is used in folk medicine, as Anthoxanthum odoratum has many healing properties: sedative, soothing, analgesic and antiemetic. However, if the family has allergies that react to the pollen of cereals, then it is better to abandon Anthoxanthum odoratum.

In the country Anthoxanthum odoratum can be used as a groundcover. He looks good in the foreground of mixed borders, in rockeries, in the company of herbs.

Hierochloe odorata

It is also called the Holy herb, and there are good reasons for this: the leaves of the bison smell of vanilla, and this aroma is similar to the smell of incense. Long-rooted grass up to 60 cm tall, growing in meadows, as well as in Siberia and North America. The leaves are fragrant, when kneading, the aroma of vanilla is clearly audible.

These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

Features of cultivation. Prefers Sunny and semi-shady places with moist soils. Quite aggressive: in comfortable for it conditions quickly is spreading, seizing new territory. Propagated by division and seeds. Hardy, like the previous species.

Application. The greatest amount of coumarin is found in Hierochloe odorata. Until now, its herb and strong drink “ZUBROWKA” is exported from the territory of the Polish part, where it is grown and harvested.

These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

Tincture (in fact, it is a liquid spice) is good for flavoring sauces to steamed vegetables, as a substitute for marinade, especially for fish. In addition, it is a wonderful addition to dessert creams and ice cream. Popular aromatic braids of bison, which can freshen the air in the room.

These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

Hierochloe odorata can safely grow in a mixborder with the rest of the herbs. The only thing that will be required is to limit the spread of the curb tape, sinking it about 15-20 cm.

These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

Some fans of the vanilla flavour I prefer to keep the bison at hand. It is grown in a pot and placed on an outdoor terrace, in places of rest, so that at any time it was possible to pick its fragrant vanilla leaf.

Cimbopogon citratus

Amazing cereal. Today it will appear before you as a flavoring, tea and dessert plant.

These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

Application. Cimbopogon citratus is good to flavor the room by tying it into small bundles and hanging them in the room, and from dry raw materials you can make a sachet.

These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

Cimbopogon citratus is a wonderful food flavoring that enhances the taste of hot and cold tea; it is included in some tea blends. It is used in desserts.

Cimbopogon citratus essential oil is added to Soaps, creams, shower gels and other skin and hair care products.

These Unexpected Cereals: Beautiful And Also Edible

This is not the end of my story about cereal plants. In the next article, they will again appear before you in an unexpected perspective – as flour plants.

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