As a vegetable enthusiast, I am always on the lookout for unique and interesting vegetables to add to my culinary adventures.
Today, I want to introduce you to the 25 most common vegetables that start with W!
To make this list even more comprehensive, I decided to also include herbs, condiments as well as all kinds of spices that begin with W.
Want to see which? Have a look at them below!
25 Vegetables That Start With W
A widely consumed aquatic vegetable in Japan, wakame is a species of kelp with a subtly sweet flavor. It’s actually an alga and can be used to make a variety of dishes like soups, sushi, and salads.
The botanical name for this seaweed is Undaria pinnatifida.
Also known as the Japanese horseradish, the wasabi is a member of the cruciferous veggie family. Its taste has been described as being a mix of cabbage, mustard and horseradish.
The Wasabi stem (and not the wasabi roots) is part of the wasabi plant mostly used as a spice in Japanese dishes for its strong flavor. It has the scientific name Eutrema japonicum.
This dark leafy green is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans. It is a perennial aquatic plant with a somewhat peppery flavor used for all kinds of dishes like stir fries, soups and even casseroles.
The botanical name of this popular vegetable is Nasturtium officinale.
Watermelon radish is a variety of daikon radish that originates from China. It’s named this way because of its pink flesh and green skin that somewhat resembles that of a watermelon.
The watermelon radish has a slightly sweet but peppery taste and has the botanical name Raphanus sativus ‘Watermelon’.
Water caltrops are weirdly shaped aquatic pods with an earthy smell and hard exterior. They turn dark when mature and must be cooked properly before being cracked to reveal their whitish, chewy and somewhat sweet seeds.
The seeds are cooked in a variety of ways and are often eaten as street food in some regions of Asia. The scientific name of this aquatic pod is Trapa natans L.
Water celery is a kind of perennial aquatic plant native to East Asia. All its parts are edible and it is also a great source of vitamins as well as protein.
Water dropwort, as it’s also called, has the scientific name Oenanthe javanica and has a mild taste that’s somewhere between celery and parsley.
Native to Asia and some regions in Africa, the water chestnut, as its name implies, is an aquatic veggie valued for its corms that closely resemble a chestnut in colour and shape.
They have a nutty, tart and sweet taste and are a great source of a variety of nutrients. The scientific name of this W vegetable is Eleocharis dulcis.
Ipomoea aquatic is the botanical name of the water spinach plant. It’s a leafy green vegetable that grows on damp soil or in riverine areas.
This vining plant with edible leaves is native to Asia and can be used in a variety of dishes. It is a perennial plant with a mild nutty and vegetal taste with sweet notes.
More popularly known as the yellow wax bean, this is a member of the legume family. They are almost identical to the common green beans in all aspects except their color which is several shades of yellow and a waxy texture.
This type of bean can be spiced and roasted, steamed or included in stir-fries. Phaseolus vulgaris is the scientific name of the common bean.
The Welsh onion is a perennial herb with a bulbous root that’s considered to be a kind of scallion. It has a very similar taste and odor to the common onion but this species of bulbous herb also has ornamental value.
Welsh onions are known by botanists as Allium fistulosum and can be used in place of regular onions or scallions.
White asparagus is a type of asparagus that lacks chlorophyll and therefore isn’t green in color but white instead. Other than the difference in hue, the white asparagus is almost identical to the green asparagus physically.
Tastewise, the white asparagus has a milder flavor and more tender texture compared to the green one. Asparagus officinalis is the botanical name of this W vegetable.
White eggplant is the name assigned to cultivars under the nightshade family with a white or ivory-colored hue.
They are fruits botanically but are regarded as veggies by nutritionists because of their culinary value. Solanum melongena is the scientific name of this fruit.
It can be made into dips, stir fries to create savory dishes and cooked in all other ways the other varieties of eggplants can.
White onions are a cultivar of dry onions noted for their white papery skin and white flesh. They have a mild flavor profile and hence are more favored compared to other onions to be eaten raw.
White onions are also great for sauces, stews and even pickled. The botanical name of this herb is Allium cepa ‘White onion’.
More popularly known as the daikon radish, this winter radish is mild in flavor with a slightly peppery taste. They can have a long cylindrical shape or be round and stout.
The white radish is generally a bit milder in flavor compared to the red ones and can be used to make stews, pancakes, soups and even salads. Raphanus sativus var. Longipinnatus is the scientific name for the radish.
White sweet potato
White sweet potatoes are varieties of sweet potatoes that have white flesh. They are usually drier, more starchy, and less sweet than orange sweet potatoes.
The most common white sweet potatoes are the Japanese sweet potatoes and boniato. White sweet potatoes can be cooked in all the ways other species of sweet potatoes can be.
Ipomoea batatas is the scientific name of the sweet potato.
White turnips are a variety of turnips that lack the purple outer skin present in the purple top turnips but are instead totally white or ivory-colored.
This includes the white egg turnip, tokyo cross turnip and even seven top turnip. The scientific name of this type of vegetable is Brassica rapa subsp. rapa.
Looking for similar veggies? Check out these nutritious substitutes for turnips for more ideas!
Also known as the purple yam or water yam, this is a species of tuber native to Southeast Asia.
Although the flesh of this yam species can be purple in color, there are also varieties that are white and cream-colored.
This tropical vegetable has the scientific name, Dioscorea alata.
Also known as the wax gourd, the winter melon is a large type of fruit often used as a vegetable in Asian cooking when it’s mature.
Its taste has been described as having a sweet and refreshing taste when young but being juicier and crispier when older. The scientific name of this fruit is Benincasa hispida.
Winter squash is an umbrella term for members of the squash family that are harvested in the late summer or autumn. They are usually asymmetrical, oddly shaped and regarded as vegetables for their culinary value.
Winter squashes usually have hard skins and tough seeds. This type of squash includes varieties like spaghetti, acorn, and butternut squash, all of which have a sweet and nutty flavor.
Cucurbita maxima is the botanical name of the squash fruit.
The naturally grown counterpart of the common asparagus, wild asparagus shows a lot of similarity to the cultivated asparagus. It has firm and crisp stalks with earthy, nutty and somewhat grassy flavor similar to the terrain they grow on.
Wild asparagus has the botanical name Asparagus officinalis and can be prepped in all the ways the cultivated asparagus can.
Wild garlic is a perennial flowering plant that grows in the deciduous forests of Britain. They are bulbous and often confused for white onions.
Ramsons, as wild garlic is also referred to, taste very similar to regular garlic but with a less pungent flavor and is comparable to chives. The botanical name of wild garlic is Allium ursinum.
Wild leeks are a species of wild garlic and onions spread all over some countries in North America. Both the leaves and bulbs of these plants are edible.
Wild leeks are also known as ramps and grow in clusters. They have the scientific name Allium tricoccum.
Wild mushroom is a general term for macrofungi that are commonly found in the natural environment. Hens, sulfur shelf and oyster mushrooms are the most common varieties of wild mushrooms that are edible.
They are usually hearty and can be used as a substitute for meat in savory dishes as wild mushrooms are a good source of protein.
Wild rice is another umbrella term on this list of vegetables that starts with the letter W.
It categorizes several species of aquatic grass that are indigenous to the great lakes of North America and fall under the genus Zizania.
The seeds of this grass are rich in protein as well as fiber and have an earthy flavor.
This tropical leguminous plant is often used in Asian dishes. It’s valued for its resistance to diseases and is also known as the Goa bean.
The winged bean can be eaten raw or sauteed and its scientific name is Psophocarpus tetragonolobus.
In conclusion, the world of vegetables that start with W is full of exciting flavors, textures, and colors.
From the peppery watercress to the spicy wasabi, these vegetables offer a wide range of culinary possibilities.
So, the next time you’re at the grocery store or farmers market, don’t forget to explore the wonderful world of W vegetables and bring some new flavors into your kitchen.
Which names of vegetables did you know before? Share them in the comments below!
25 Wonderful Vegetables That Start With W (#5 is weird!)
- Watermelon radish
- Water caltrop
- Water celery
- Water chestnut
- Water spinach
- Wax beans
- Welsh onion
- White asparagus
- White eggplant
- White onion
- White radish
- White sweet potato
- White turnip
- Winged yam
- Winter melon
- Winter squash
- Wild asparagus
- Wild garlic
- Wild leek
- Wild mushroom
- Wild rice
- Winged bean