Herb: John's Cabbage

Latin name: Hydrophyllum canadense

Family: Hydrophyllaceae (Waterleaf Family)

Edible parts of John's Cabbage:

Leaves - raw or cooked. A delicate potherb. Only use when young, the leaves become bitter with age. Root - cooked. Only eaten in times of scarcity.

Description of the plant:


30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)

Habitat of the herb:

Damp rich woodland.

Propagation of John's Cabbage:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in early spring. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Damp rich woodland.

Medicinal use of John's Cabbage:

None known

Known hazards of Hydrophyllum canadense:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.