Good King Henry Facts

Good King Henry Facts
Good King Henry is herbaceous plant that belongs to the Amaranth family. It is native to central and southern parts of Europe. Good King Henry prefers areas with cool climate and thrives on the fertile, well-drained, moist soil. It can grow exposed to the full sun or in the partial shade (light shade is preferred in areas with warm climate). Good King Henry has been important part of human diet for centuries, but its popularity decreased at the end of 19th century. Today, Good King Henry can be found in the gardens, churchyards, around mills, in the pastures and on the farmlands, and it is usually classified as weed.
Interesting Good King Henry Facts:
Good King Henry has erect stem that can reach 24 inches in height.
Good King Henry has broad, triangular leaves with two broad, pointed lobes at the base. Leaves are dark green colored, waxy and succulent.
Good King Henry produces miniature, green-colored flowers arranged in tall spikes. Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Good King Henry blooms from May to August. It belongs to a group of self-pollinating plants.
Fruit of Good King Henry is achene (type of dry fruit). Individual plants produce around 210 reddish-green seeds per season.
Good King Henry propagates via seed.
Name "Good King Henry" originates from German name of this plant: "Guter Heinrich". Name was used to emphasize that plant is safe for consumption, unlike the poisonous plant called "Bad Henry". Englishmen later added term "king" to make it sounds more interesting.
Leaves of Good King Henry are excellent source of vitamin C, iron and calcium. Leaves and flowering stem are available from June to September. They can be consumed in the form of salads or cooked like spinach.
Young shoots are available from April to June. Bunch of growing shoots of Good King Henry can be cooked together and served as asparagus (hence the nickname "poor man's asparagus").
Flower buds of Good King Henry are usually prepared and consumed like broccoli, while flowers are often consumed sautéed in butter.
Seeds of Good King Henry can be consumed like classical grains. They need to be soaked overnight before consumption to eliminate saponins. Flour made of ground seeds can be used for the preparation of bread.
Good King Henry is often used as food for chickens.
Good King Henry had been used in treatment of parasitic worms, sores on the skin, stomach ache and to facilitate emptying of bowels (seeds are used as laxative) in humans, while root had been used in treatment of cough in sheep and goats in the past.
Good King Henry can be used as a source of golden-green dye.
Good King Henry is perennial plant (life span: more than 2 years).

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