Unique and Weird-Looking Edible PlantsBiology
What is pleasing to the eyes are conceived to be enticing to eat. Some plant foods look odd and peculiar but they are delicious too. Here’s a list of unique and weird-looking but edible plants.
Sea Lettuce (Ulva lactuca)
The weird-looking Sea Lettuce is an edible thin flat green alga that grows up to 18 cm long and up to 30 cm cross. This soft and translucent plant grows attached, without a stipe, to rock by a small disc-shaped holdfast.
Indian Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)
This unique edible plant reminded me of an infant toy. Indian Lotus is an edible aquatic perennial plant. The seeds of this unique plant may remain viable for many years. The oldest recorded lotus germination is from 1,300 years old seeds recovered from a dry lakebed in China. The seeds, flowers, young leaves, and roots of the Indian Lotus are all edible. The petals are used for garnish while the large leaves are used as a wrap for food. The root is used as a vegetable in soups, deep-fried, stir-fried, and braised dishes. The petals, leaves and roots can also all be eaten raw. It is also known simply as Lotus, Sacred Lotus and Bean of India.
Downy Burdock (Arctium tomentosum)
This could be one of most peculiar-looking flowers you’ve seen. The Downy Burdock is an edible plant with unique flowers that grows in Europe and Asia. The taproot of young Downy Burdock is harvested and eaten as a root vegetable. Its slender roots can grow about 1 m long and 2 cm across. The taste of Downy Burdock root is sweet. It is very crisp and has a mild and pungent flavor. The immature flower stalks of Downy Burdock may also be harvested and eaten. The taste is similar to artichoke. It is also commonly known as Woolly Burdock.
Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus)
Cardoon is unique-looking plant endemic to the Mediterranean region. It has been domesticated since the 4th century BCE. It was popular in Greek and Roman cuisine and remained so up to the early modern Europe. It is also known by a variety of common names such as Artichoke Thistle, Cardone, Cardoni, Carduni and Cardi.
Elephant Foot Yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius)
Be sure to cover your nose when you get near to this somehow beautiful but smelly plant. The Elephant Foot Yam is a tropical tuber crop that can be found is Southeast Asia. This unique plant grows in wild form in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and nearby areas. Elephant Foot Yam offers excellent scope for adoption in the tropical countries as a cash crop due to its production potential and popularity as a vegetable in various delicious cuisines. It is also commonly known as Whitespot Giant Arum or Stink Lily.
Globe Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus)
The unique-looking Globe Artichoke is now slowly becoming popular among vegetable consumers. This edible plant is the primary flavor of the Italian liqueur Cynar. This plant that originated in Europe can also be made into an herbal tea. The Globe Artichoke can grow up to 2 m tall with leaves of up to 82 cm long. Portion of the bud, where the flower develops, is edible.
Velvet Bean (Mucuna pruriens)
In our dialect, this odd-looking but edible plant is called ‘Sabawel”. This tropical legume is known by a variety of common names such as Cowitch, Cowhage, Juckbohne,"Itch Bean", Picapica, Kapikachu, Yerepe and Atmagupta. This climbing shrub has long vine that can reach 15 m long. It is almost completely covered with fuzzy hairs while the plant is young but as it grows older, it is almost completely free of hairs. The young fruits of this plant are harvested and cooked in different ways.