Good King Henry
A perennial relative of spinach, lambs-quarters, and chard. One of the first cooking greens of spring and one of the last of fall . Like other leafy perennials in that it emerges in very early spring, before seedling plants are ready to eat. Mild in flavor, very similar to lambs-quarters, with the same silvery underside to the leaf, but the leaves are larger and the plant grows in large clumps. Prefers rich soil in semi-shady areas. (Full sun only in cool-summer climates). Stratify seeds: fluctuation of high and low temperatures aids germination. Direct sow in spring or fall or transplant very young seedlings in spring. Once established the plants don’t like transplanting. Requires a year of growth before plants can be harvested. If left uncut, center stalks grow to 2½'. Be patient and you will have a bed that lasts for decades.
Named not for a historical king, but for a leprechaun-like garden spirit, haganrich (literally ‘king of the hedge,’ a gremlin with goose’s feet that helps around the house and puts things where they belong.. Ancient plant used in festive meals, in meat dishes and as a side dish, very popular in Europe before it was supplanted by spinach. Also known by several other names: Lincolnshire Spinach, Mercury, and Fat Hen (Chickens adore both the nutritious leaves and the oil-rich seeds.) Handsome groundcover for shade, with arrowhead leaves.