Green Mizuna Flowers
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Green mizuna leaves are deeply lobed with a finely serrated appearance, much like wild arugula. They are a rich green color with a white mid-rib that leads to the thin trailing stem. The loosely clustered heads form a rosette shape that is .3-.5 meters high. In the late spring when temperatures rise the plant bolts, shooting up long stems with small clusters of yellow blossoms. Green mizuna flowers have a minimal scent but offer a mild mustard note with a sweet honey-like finish.
Green mizuna flowers are available in the spring.
Mizuna is a Japanese green in the Mustard family that is botanically known as Brassica rapa var. nipposinica or var. japonica. Other common names include Kyona, Kabuna, or Spinach Mustard. There are at least sixteen known varieties of mizuna, offering an array of different colors, sizes and flavors, each exhibiting the same cross-shaped yellow flower that is characteristic of the Brassica family. Green mizuna is a traditional ingredient in the Japanese New Year’s dish ozoni, which is a soup that is consumed for good luck.
Green mizuna flowers are somewhat sturdy and take well to being lightly sautéed or added into soups. They may also be eaten raw with the mizuna greens in salads as individual blossoms or used whole on the stem like young broccoli. Mizuna flowers compliment apples, pears, peaches, figs, citrus, nuts, light bodied vinegars, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, chiles, basil, mint, bacon, cream, hard aged and melting cheeses, tomatoes, zucchini and grains such as farro and wild rice.
Mizuna is native to China, though its name is Japanese where mizu, means “water,” and nu, means “mustard plant.” Mizuna tolerates most soil types with moderate moisture levels and proper drainage. The plant produces abundant greenery throughout the cool spring weather, but is prone to bolting in warmer temperatures. Constantly trim and irrigate to prolong leaf production into summer, or reduce watering during hot temperatures to induce early flower production. Mizuna grows year round in temperate to cold-hardy climates.