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The Perennial Agriculture Institute has published a new resource by Eric Toensmeir (2022) entitled Trees with Edible Leaves. This free, downloadable book includes over 100 cultivated species of perennial plants. Tonesmeier first introduces the value, geographic distribution, and versatility of perennial plants with edible portions. He includes summary information about common nutrients and the abundance of nutrients found in cultivated perennial plants. Appendix A contains detailed nutritional information. 

Next, Trees with Edible Leaves contains tips and approaches to managing perennial crops encompassing different pruning techniques, example systems for trees, propagation, establishment, and harvesting. 
The next three chapters overview a multitude of species grouped by climate (cold climates, tropical and subtropical drylands, and humid tropics and subtropics). Each plant entry includes: 

  • Scientific name, plant family, and common names
  • Geographical region where crop is grown and/or consumed 
  • Origin
  • Plant form
  • Climate and soil description
  • Uses
  • Nutrition summary
  • Growing tips
  • Propagation information
  • A photo of the plant

Publishers have now released a Spanish edition and ask to be contacted if additional translations are desired. Tonesmeier’s Trees with Edible Leaves is available free online.

Reference and Further Reading

Toensmeir, E. 2022. Trees with Edible Leaves: A Global Manual. Perennial Agriculture Institute.

Watch Eric’s Perennial Vegetable Workshop given at ECHO here: http://edn.link/perennialvegetables

Martin, F.W., R.M. Rubertè, and L.S. Meitzner. 1998. Edible Leaves of the Tropics (3rd edition). ECHO (available through the ECHO bookstore at: https://www.echobooks.net/edible-leaves-hard-cover.html)