Leafy vegetables are a highly variable group of crop plants that broadly can be defined as vegetables grown for their edible leaves. However, the distinction between leafy and non-leafy crops is not always clear.
An overview of crops considered leafy vegetables by ECPGR was discussed during the meeting of the vegetables network in Portugal in 2000 (Lebeda and Boukema 2001), which resulted in a group of genera consisting of Asparagus, Atriplex, Chenopodium, Chrysanthemum, Cichorium, Cynara, Diplotaxis, Eruca, Lactuca, Lepidium, Portulaca, Rheum, Rumex, Spinacia, Taraxacum, Tetragonia and Valerianella.
Lactuca spp. (lettuce) and Spinacia spp. (spinach) are the main leafy vegetable collections maintained at CGN. In addition, CGN maintains a collection of Valerianella spp. (lamb’s lettuce), while accessions of Eruca (rocket salad) are included in the collection of crucifers. The collection of Asparagus is currently under development.