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Rare Vegetable Plants for your Home Garden

Updated on July 3, 2015

Rare Vegetables Create a Unique Garden and a Fun Meal

Rare Vegetables turn a fun hobby into a garden work of art. Gardening is such a rewarding hobby, you dig in the dirt, plant some tiny little seeds than water and nurture them into great works of nature. Then when all the hard work is done you can sit back and enjoy the fruits, and vegetables, of your labor. But after your first successful foray into gardening you yearn for new challenges and new rewards. You want to grow as a gardener and maybe, just a little bit, you want to be able to show off to your friends and neighbors some great new plants that they have never seen before. Well I'm here to help. There are so many different varieties of unique and interesting fruits, vegetables and flowers to choose from that you will never be bored.

As an Avid Gardener

and a vegetarian I am a fan of interesting vegetables. As I plan my garden each year, I look for new heirloom varieties and unique vegetable plants to expand my garden. I have compiled my research here, so you too may enjoy the joys of purple carrots and orange cauliflower. I hope that these unique vegetables inspire you to be unique and creative in your garden year after year.

Well that's a vegetable of a different color - A favorite crunchy veggie gets a new look

Let's start with a rainbow of carrots. Why plant just orange carrots? There are a rainbow of carrots out there. Plant a mix then when you harvest them make a delicious and colorful carrot salad for your next party or potluck.

Purple Dragon Carrot 350 Seeds - Absolutely unique!
Purple Dragon Carrot 350 Seeds - Absolutely unique!

Purple on the outside, deep orange on the inside. These babies are packed full of antioxidants making them excellent for juicing or for raw snacking. Enjoy!

 
Solar Yellow Carrot 150 Seeds - NEW - Veggie
Solar Yellow Carrot 150 Seeds - NEW - Veggie

These bright yellow carrots are smooth, sweet and crunchy. Yum!

 
Blood Red Atomic Carrot 150 Seeds - NEW - Veggie
Blood Red Atomic Carrot 150 Seeds - NEW - Veggie

These bright red carrots are such to jazz up any salad. These are also very high in the nutrient lycopene, most commonly found in tomatoes and shown to be good for the heart.

 
Lunar White Carrot 100 Seeds - Tender,Coreless,Sweet
Lunar White Carrot 100 Seeds - Tender,Coreless,Sweet

This very tender almost coreless white carrot is long lasting, so it is excellent for storage.

 

Carrot Salad

Simple and Sweet

6 to 8 Carrots grated (thickly or finely or both)

2 to 3 apples finely chopped or grated

1 cup Raisins

Juice of 1/2 lemon (or orange if you prefer less tart)

Mix all ingredients well, Chill and Enjoy!

Heirloom Tomatoes - These Rare and Unique Varieties are sure to impress

Heirloom Tomatoes are probably the widest variety of any vegetable available. They come in different sizes from tiny little grape and cherry tomatoes to massive 3 and 5 pound varieties. They come in different colors from red to yellow to orange to purple and black. Many gardeners will have a separate garden just for their different tomato varieties.

Black Sea Man Tomato 10 Seeds - Heirloom
Black Sea Man Tomato 10 Seeds - Heirloom

One of the most interesting tomatoes I have seen with dark skin and light pink on the inside. These grow on small determinate plants and are ready to harvest around 75 days from transplant.

 
Amana Orange Tomato 125 Seeds - GARDEN FRESH PACK!
Amana Orange Tomato 125 Seeds - GARDEN FRESH PACK!

These heirloom slicing tomatoes are originally from the Amana Colonies in Iowa. A beautiful yellow tomato is a late summer harvest with germination between 70 and 85 degrees- 75 - 90 days on Indeterminate plant.

 
Big Rainbow Tomato 50 Seeds - Heirloom
Big Rainbow Tomato 50 Seeds - Heirloom

Slice these up on a platter for a great display with red in the bottom half of the fruit and Yellow on top. It has a big, lumpy beefsteak shape with a very mild and sweet flavor. These large fruits, around 22 ounces, grow on tall indeterminate plants which are ready to eat in about 85 days.

 

Tasty Tomato Salad

One of the best ways to eat a delicious organically grown tomato is by it self, just slice and serve. The second best way, in my humble opinion, is in a delicious, fresh summer Tomato salad. This is my favorite recipe for Tomato Salad:

4-5 large ripe tomatoes, wedged

1 medium sized green bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced (optional)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 pinches dried oregano

salt and pepper (to taste)

Place all vegetables in a bowl, add vinegar and oil, then the spices. Toss Gently. Cover and put in refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.

This is great with some crusty bread to soak up all the yummy juices!

Rare and Heirloom Broccoli

Yum, Broccoli- what a versatile vegetable- it is great in salads or on a platter with some dip, It is wonderful steamed or sauteed or tossed with some pasta. Give a few of these varieties a try to add some pizazz to your next Salad.

Sweet Baby Broccoli 50 Seeds - Sweeter than Broccoli!
Sweet Baby Broccoli 50 Seeds - Sweeter than Broccoli!

Sweet Baby Broccoli, also referred to as Broccolini is a green vegetable resembling broccoli. Although often mistakenly identified as young broccoli, it is actually a natural hybrid of the cabbage family Brassica oleracea, a cross between broccoli and Chinese Kale. The name Broccolini was first conceived of, strangely enough, in the oval office, by Richard Nixon, who when asked by Attorney General John N. Mitchell, who asked "Is that an asparagus in your ear?" "No, it's broccolini."

 
Purple Broccoli 200 Seeds - LOW CARB! Veggie
Purple Broccoli 200 Seeds - LOW CARB! Veggie

An extra early variety originating in the UK produces large bright purple spears. Plant this along with your regular broccoli to extend your harvesting season.

 
Hinterland Trading Organic Broccoli Raab - 100 Seeds
Hinterland Trading Organic Broccoli Raab - 100 Seeds

Although not as rare, it is a favorite of mine, sauteed with a little olive oil and garlic. I like to grow this in my own garden, because it is difficult to find in the grocery stores.

 

Broccoli Soup

This simple recipe has become a staple in my household. With just three ingredients, and very little prep time, it is a great springtime recipe.

Ingredients

1 head of broccoli, Chopped

4-6 cups Vegetable Broth or water (enough to just cover chopped broccoli in pot)

Salt (to taste)

Directions

Roughly chop broccoli and place in large soup pot. Add vegetable broth, or water so that broccoli is mostly covered. Bring to a boil, simmer until broccoli is tender. Scoop broccoli and some of the broth into a blender or food processor, blend until smooth. Return blended broccoli to pot, stir, rewarm and serve.

I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from and Old Manse

Really Unique Cauliflowers

Purple Cauliflower 40 Seeds -LOW CARB!- Veggie
Purple Cauliflower 40 Seeds -LOW CARB!- Veggie

Bright Purple Cauliflower, need I say more? You just don't see these in the grocery store.

 
Orange Cheddar Cauliflower 15 Seeds - Unique - Veggie
Orange Cheddar Cauliflower 15 Seeds - Unique - Veggie

Originally from Canada the Cheddar cauliflower has been cross bred with white varieties to improve taste. Aside from being orange and yummy it also has 25% more beta carotene than white cauliflower.

 

Join the Fun- Take our Poll - This is probably the hardest decision you will have to make all day

What is your Favorite Vegetable?

See results

International Cucumbers - Bring the whole world into your backyard!

I absolutely love garden fresh cucumbers. Slice them up and eat them fresh or marinate them in a little oil and vinegar. They are a great tasty snack. Try a few of these varieties originating from all parts of the world to see which are your favorite.

Hmong Red Cucumber - 10 Seeds
Hmong Red Cucumber - 10 Seeds

These beautiful red cucumbers are very mild even when harvested large. They originate from a Hmong Immigrant and are very productive plants.

 
Uzbekski Cucumber 7 Seeds - RARE- Heirloom!
Uzbekski Cucumber 7 Seeds - RARE- Heirloom!

Believed to originated in Uzbekistan these rare seeds produce a crunchy and delicious pale green cucumber which turns gold brown as it ripens. 50 to 60 days

 
Jerusalem Pickle Plant 10 Seeds-Cucumis anguria-Veggie
Jerusalem Pickle Plant 10 Seeds-Cucumis anguria-Veggie

From longest to shortest, these tiny fruits are the ancestors of cucumbers. Originating in the west indies, they are the smallest cucumbers in the world at 2 inches. The soft spikes on the skin of the fruit can be rubbed of by hand.

 

Hot, Hot, Hot! - Who's up for some 5 alarm Chili?

Hot Peppers are my all time favorites in the vegetable garden. They are a wonderful rainbow of colors and can be a great decorative plant as well. Why not make some of these spicy additions to your garden.

Peruvian White Lightning Habanero Pepper 30 Seeds- HOT
Peruvian White Lightning Habanero Pepper 30 Seeds- HOT

The White Habanero is a lovely, Rare variety of the Habanero that is thought to originate in Peru. Small bushy pepper plants produce very high yields of beautiful chiles approximately 2 inches long with a creamy-white colored skin. These beautiful, rare white chiles are extremely hot and have been rated at over 300,000 Scoville Units which is about ten times hotter than a standard Jalapeno Pepper. If you like a searing hot chile, this ones for you! Can be used fresh, but makes wonderful, fiery dried chile powder or ultra hot white hot sauce!

 
Organic Czechoslovakian Black Chile Pepper - 50 Seeds
Organic Czechoslovakian Black Chile Pepper - 50 Seeds

These chilie peppers are such a dark green that they appear black. These mildly spicy peppers turn red when ripened.

 

Cucumber Black Eyed Pea Salad with a Kick

This is a wonderful filling salad with just a little bit of spicy kick to it.

1 1/2 cup black eyed peas, dried

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced

2 tomatoes, diced

1 Serrano chile, seeded, diced

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1 lemon and/or lime

salt and pepper

Combine 1.5 cup dried black eyed peas and 3 cup water w/ pinch of salt. cover & bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, simmer with lid cracked 15-20min until tender but with a little bite. Drain and run under cold water.

Combine cucumber, tomato, Serrano, cilantro. Salt & Pepper to taste. Add lemon/lime juice. Let sit for at least 20 minutes. The longer the better.

You can also substitute your favorite hot peppers for the Serrano chile's and I also add some diced avocado when I have it on hand.

Join the Discussion - Ideas, Sources and Recipes

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    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 3 years ago from Virginia

      Fabulous Lens!! I love it! SO, I shared it on our G+page today!

      https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/10593843672309975630...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Terrific lens!

    • profile image

      huvalbd 5 years ago

      We grew purple stem broccoli a few times. It takes 11 months to mature and bear, and can grow nearly 6 feet tall--ours did! The butterflies love it, so during the summer we had to pick caterpillars off twice a day. But it was worth it for the taste. Eight plants kept 2 people eating broccoli nearly every day for 2 months.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      A great source here in Northeast Kingdom of Vermont is High Mowing seeds. Great for folks looking for hardy veggies, they also have heirloom and very interesting varieties.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Awesome awesome webpage. I love it! How much fun is this?? I am creating a page on unique Chinese vegetables (I live in China) but I am not done yet. Your page is an inspiration. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • profile image

      gemjane 5 years ago

      I am going to try a squash called tromboncino rampicante. It is said to be of the "zucchetta" type, which can be used as both a summer and a winter squash. It is supposed to be very tender and very tasty.

    • kingsrookie lm profile image

      kingsrookie lm 6 years ago

      Amazing lens! I would love to grow the blood red carrots!

    • profile image

      Echo Phoenix 6 years ago

      fab!

    • turtleface profile image

      turtleface 6 years ago

      This lens is one that I'm going to have to come back to. I want to do things and once I get my wallfarm and such larger and more diverse then I'll be getting better foods to eat. I can't wait.

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 6 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Awesome stuff! I have never seen some of these veggies before. I voted for tomato above, even though it is a fruit and not a vegetable! LOL :-)

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 6 years ago from New York

      Hope to add some of these to my veggie patch next year. Blessed on the Squid Angels Epic Back To School Bus Trip Quest. Your lens will be featured on âWing-ing it on Squidoo,â our lensography of some of the best Squidoo has to offer, as soon as the quest has been completed.

    • profile image

      GetSillyProduct 6 years ago

      who knew there were so many different colored carrots and tomatoes?! I love veggies, I've got to get my hands on some of these :)

    • MamaBelle profile image

      Francis Luxford 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I would love some of these plants in my garden. Great lens!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 6 years ago

      Very interesting lens. Congrats on your angel blessing. Isn't rare fun?

    • profile image

      hampstead 6 years ago

      lovely lens. I have a backyard garden but do not know some of these plants. I will be on the lookout for them.

    • profile image

      hampstead 6 years ago

      lovely lens. I have a backyard garden but do not know some of these plants. I will be on the lookout for them.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 6 years ago from New York

      Great lens! I have eaten all of these unusual veggies except two. They are all so pretty aren't they? Happy April Fool's Day! Leaving you with a Fool's Day Blessing (no April Fool's prank here). This lens has also been added as a featured lens on My Squid Angel Wings blessing lens too. Look for it in the April Fool's Day section for the "Home & Garden" neighborhood.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      Just returning to say that this lens has been blessed and added to my Growing Vegetables and Herbs lens.

    • profile image

      Miss_Organic 6 years ago

      What a fun lens! I love unusual veggies too. I have tried purple sprouting broccoli but it never forms heads. Have you ever ordered from Baker Creek? That is my favorite place to get heirloom and unusual seeds. They have an amazing selection. This year, I am trying is pink bananas, paprika peppers, and Wonderberries. I am going to try making my own paprika this fall!

    • profile image

      Murphypig 6 years ago

      I've never heard of some of these before. Good lens. thanks.

    • ravi551854 profile image

      ravi551854 6 years ago

      in the future every one like to make his own vegetable garden

    • profile image

      the777group lm 6 years ago

      Hooray for unusual vegetables!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Hi, thanks for sharing pics and names of these rare veggies, but no mention is made of seed sources to get them, a glitch perhaps?

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 7 years ago

      Fantastic collection of unusual veggies. I love some of the colorful ones like orange or purple cauliflower

    • Kimsworld LM profile image

      Kimsworld LM 8 years ago

      I really liked the selection of differrent plants, but I was wondering how many of them are hybrid and how many of them are true. I am looking for non hybrid seeds. Are all of these heirloom?

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      The romanesco broccoli I got at the farmers market make me curious about other rare veggies. This was a great informative mix!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Another gorgeous lens from you!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      This was so interesting. I really enjoyed the great read and wonderful pictures.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 8 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I love these unusual veggies... too bad I've run out of room in my garden this year! 5* and blessed!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Love your lens! We used to grow loads of veggies and sold some at a stand out in front of the house and at the farmers market in Kent, CT. We always had lots of the common stuff, but people really enjoyed some of the lesser-known, rare varieties. We'd give out recipes with them, too, which definitely helped move them from our table to other people's kitchens. I'm lensrolling this to my Ideas For Your Farmers Market Booth Or Vegetable Stand. Now I'm hungry.

    • profile image

      gardenlady 8 years ago

      I've already planted the my usual favorites, but boy what a selection of unusal choices. I'll have to try some of these goodies - the purple & orange cauliflower would be a fun addition to any vegetable tray at parties. Nice Job. Adding to favs, and lensrolling.

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image

      gia combs-ramirez 8 years ago from Montana

      Fantastic lens. Love the recipes mixed in with the pictures of the vegies.

    • cyberpunkdreams1 profile image

      cyberpunkdreams1 8 years ago

      Great lends. I particularly liked the section on heirloom tomatoes. I grow a few of them myself.

    • profile image

      Leanne Chesser 8 years ago

      Yum. I'm a vegetarian and I love this lens - I've been back a couple of times today already. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Recipes look yummy!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Hey Hey I love fruits veggies and more

    • SusanFaye profile image

      SusanFaye 8 years ago

      What a wonderful lens to discover as I ponder what to plant this spring! Thanks for the recipes too!