What are the colours of harvest? Red, gold, yellow, orange, russet. But what about purple? A regal colour for centuries, it’s amazing how many “purple” plants and flowers come into bloom during harvest time each year.
Besides bringing us brilliant colour, the purple in many vegetables is actually very healthy. The colour in elderberries, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, purple beans, even those rare purple tomatoes get their colour from Anthocyanins (which are antioxidants). Recent research says that there’s evidence that these anthocyanin pigments and polyphenolics play a preventive and therapeutic role in a number of human diseases, including heart disease.
Purple Beans – They’re called Royal Burgundy, originally a pole bean from Italy, but do very well in Canadian gardens.
Ornamental Cabbage and Kale – For color, texture, and fantastic container displays, few plants compare to the Ornamental Cabbages and Kales. These beauties like full sun and if in a sheltered location in your garden, may last until spring. They are also edible, but mostly used for décor!
Purple Flowers – Chrysanthemums come in many bright deep colours, but none compare to purple. Also look for
purple asters, with bright contras-ting yellow centres. Let them go to seed and birds will visit your garden all through winter!
Purple Potatoes – Move over white potatoes, purple potatoes have a deep violet-colored skin and flesh and a creamy texture and rich flavor. There are a number of purple potato varieties available.
Purple Tomatoes – These new breed of tomatoes were created by scientists in Europe transferred certain genes of snapdragons to tomatoes, creating a tomato with a dark purple color and loads of antioxidants.
Eggplant – Eggplant is at its very best from August through October when it is in season. Eggplant is a dark purple or brownish-purple color that resembles the color of the outer skin of European eggplant. Another name for the color eggplant is aubergine.
Purple Cauliflower – A fun twist on the traditional white vegetable with all the health benefits including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9. It serves as a good source of proteins, phosphorus and potassium.
Purple Carrots – Carrots are high in complex carbohydrates like most root vegetables, and they’re high in vitamin B6. Carrots are usually orange, but they are also available in other colors such as purple.