The large (3m=10ft), dense, very ornamental climber with tuberous roots. Leaves are edible. When cooked they have a mild, pleasant taste. Plant very frost hardy (to zone 6).
Originating in the Caucasus, it is a very hardy perennial, growing 6-9' long for 2-3 months in the very early spring when few other edible greens have surfaced. It's also tasty: both early shoots and subsequent leaves make a delicious and tender spinach-like vegetable without any bitterness. Moreover, it's beautiful-originally introduced into Sweden around 1870 as an attractive vine to screen manor houses with its heart-shaped leaves. And, finally, though it is best grown in sun to maximize its productivity, it will also do well in its native habitat.