We see wood sorrel with multicolored leaves. The entire plant, including seeds, leaves and blossoms are edible. Dead-nettle leaves and flowers have a grassy, slightly mushroomy taste, although the flowers’ nectaries add a bit of sweet. Bittercress is common in warm-mild states throughout the US. Dock can be found in nearly every US state. It’s a great source of food for early-emerging pollinators. The leaves, stems, and flowers of purple dead-nettle plants are edible. Broad-leaved dock and curly dock has been used in food and medicine for centuries. I read that Thistle Seed is eaten by Goldfinches and they use the fully stuff to line their nests with. Roadside weeds are typically sprayed with herbicides and should be avoided. The last plantain in our yard–the only one which survived the long, brutal summer without water. It shares a common name with sheep sorrel, and it even tastes like sheep sorrel (lemony). Every part of the dandelion plant is edible: leaves, flowers, and roots. Dead-nettle is a cool weather plant that emerges and blooms as soon as the ground thaws in late winter – early spring. Hope you’re able to put your thistle to good use. Despite the name, burdock (burr dock) is actually in another plant family (Articum spp), though it is also healthy and useful. Broadleaf dock is found throughout the eastern United States, the Midwest, and Arizona. This wild edible has a patter that makes identification a breeze. Dandelion greens are best harvested in late winter-early spring before the plant blooms. Harvest honeysuckle flowers from spring through summer. We like pickled wild garlic bulbs and pickled wild garlic bulbils (the bulbils make an exotic and beautiful garnish). amzn_assoc_title = "Our Favorite Foraging Recipe Books"; THANK YOU for your inspiration much needed in todays times! The leaves can be to salads, the seeds can be added to vinegar, and dig the root early in the spring or late in the fall to tincture for an amazing medicine. amzn_assoc_linkid = "cfa110b31d61880f22b8923f1c1359d4"; Japanese honeysuckle is considered an invasive plant. Gather a bunch of honeysuckle flowers, doing your best to keep the whole flower intact. It is one of commonest British native plants. It is a good source of nutrition as well as a multitude of health benefits. Sheep sorrel goes dormant in the winter and springs to life in the spring, spreading rapidly via underground runners and seeds. The young leaves are tender and succulent. The flower/seed heads have a pleasant mushroom-like flavor and should be eaten when they’re young for best flavor and texture. Most homeowners with manicured lawns hate thistle too. Dock, a common plant often found along roadsides and fields, is most often foraged for its tart leaves in the early spring. For instance, you can technically eat grass and clover, but they’re not very tasty. Stinging nettle growing in late winter at Tyrant Farms. Stinging nettle soup is one of our favorite winter/spring dishes, and stinging nettle tea is delightful any time of year. Also known as Broad-leaved Dock, Bitter Dock, Bluntleaf Dock, Dock Leaf or ButterDock. It is often agreed that the youngest plants are best and make a tasty ‘spinach’,REF while others find the taste ‘sour’ but ‘hearty’.REF, Serve the greens with butter, bacon, hard-boiled eggs and seasoning.REF The leaves can also be stuffed like vine leaves with a rice, herb and cheese filling.REF Dried they can be used as a seasoning for rice, potatoes, seafood or sandwich spread.REF. You can harvest stinging nettle aggressively from the time it emerges until warm weather triggers the plant to go to seed. They’re highly nutrient-rich, offer flavorful greens in the middle of the summer when most leafy greens have long since disappeared, and produce a protein-rich seed/pseudocereal harvest as well. Both produce edible leaves and flower/seed heads. Most commonly harvested are Rumex crispus (Curly dock), and R. obtusifolius (Bitter or broadleaf dock). Tender young leaves and growth tips (including tender new stems) are best. While some thistle species are better than others, chances are the thistle growing in your yard has multiple edible parts — and potentially even medicinal benefits. Our domesticated ‘buckshorn’ plantain grew straight through our relatively mild 2018-19 winter uncovered. Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus) Most fields, waste places, roadsides, and weedy yards are good locations to find yellow dock (aka ~ curly dock, sour dock, narrow dock, garden patience and curled dock. Both are delicious wild edible plants, and each group deserves its own article. R. crispus as the name suggests has wavy, curled leaf edges with wedge-shaped leaves. It has now spread to all US states with the exception of some states in the northwest and midwest. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; broad-leaved dock (rumex obtusifolius) If this recipe is starting to sound worryingly bitter, don’t fear: I’ve never been a big fan of the bitterness of dandelions (though they do make a mean tonic ) and only really enjoy most dock varieties when very young (with the exception of sorrel), but this recipe tempers them both perfectly. Plantain, also known as broadleaf plantain (Plantago major), is native to Europe and certain parts of Asia.This perennial plant produces greenish flowers and has … R. crispusas the name suggests has wavy, curled leaf edges with wedge-shaped leaves. Wild garlic grows prolifically in the southeastern US where we live. Our ducks, unfortunately, don’t seem to care for it. Buckshorn plantain leaves and edible flower head. Wood sorrel looks very similar to clover. One of the unfortunate side effects of building our soil health over the years is that many edible weeds that grow in poor/degraded soil (like purslane) no longer grow in our yard, so we have to forage them. Notice that on the edge of the leaf of Curly Dock there is a wavy “crisped” margin and also its relative thinness and “lancelike” shape. The roots, leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds of most thistle species are edible. Wild garlic grows year round in our area. There are many edible docks, but curly dock and broad-leaved dock are the most common in the USA and Europe. We haven’t seen confirmation that the roots are edible from credible sources. There are innumerable species of wood sorrel in our bioregion alone, and they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. He also serves on the board of the Diversified Agriculture Committee for the South Carolina Farm Bureau. The leaves on young dead nettle plants are green. Sheep sorrel leaves, stems, and flower shoots are edible. She’s making our sparkling honeysuckle cordial recipe with these flowers (see recipe below). Think of dock as the love child of spinach and rhubarb or sorrel (R. acetosa), and you’ll get a good idea about the flavor of this edible wild green.So how to go about foraging curly dock? It prefers soils with high nitrogen content. Thistle emerges from seed as soon as the ground thaws and produces tall flower stalks with gorgeous showy pink flowers from spring – summer. Interesting to hear that they use the seed fluff to line their nests – certainly seems like a good material for the task. Other weeds are edible (and maybe even medicinal) but they don’t taste good. Broadleaf plantain is a common weed that many people tend to easily recognize yet there is nothing common about this plant. Warning #1: Before eating any plant/weed, always make 100% certain you’ve correctly ID’d it or there could be very serious health consequences. Once bottled and refrigerated, honeysuckle cordial can last for up to 1 year. Plantain offers the best flavor in cool – cold weather from fall through spring. Stem leaves have an ocrea and progressively become smaller up the flowering stalk. If you have information about the edibility of dock roots, please let us know in the comments! There are various species, such as curly dock (Rumex crispus), and bitter or broadleaf dock (R. obtusifolius). Place in jar with your favorite brine recipe, then refrigerate. Please be sure to subscribe to Tyrant Farms to see what's in-season out in nature, have fresh seasonal recipes delivered to your inbox and get helpful organic/permaculture gardening & duck keeping tips. Raw leaves are best eaten young and tender; older leaves are better cooked. Not surprisingly, wild garlic tastes more like garlic whereas wild onions taste more like… (you guessed it) onions. Both species grow wild in our yard. The centers of young thistle stems taste like cardoons. Broad-leaved dock is a common plant that grows on waste ground, in hedgerows, gardens and roadside verges, and next to water all over the UK. Add remaining 2 … Another great benefit of plantains: nothing works better to dull the pain of a fire ant or bee sting (at least for The Tyrant and me). However, wood sorrel is not closely related to either of these plants. amzn_assoc_search_bar = "true"; We love stinging nettle so much, we intentionally planted this fast-growing “weed” into our garden – read more about stinging nettle and its many uses (including medicinal uses) here. Perhaps the simplest definition of a weed is a plant growing in a place where a human doesn’t want it. Henbit leaves, stems, and flowers are edible. They have a tart, lemon-tasting leaves and are used similarly in cooking. Purslane is also very high in Vitamins E and C. Chickens purportedly love purslane. (Only the driest hottest southwestern and the driest coldest northwestern states are absent of dead-nettle.). :) Boil 4 cups water, yellow dock and vanilla for 15 minutes. A syrphid fly foraging a dandelion flower. Warning #2: Before eating an edible weed you’ve properly identified, be 100% certain that it has not been sprayed by herbicides or other biocides. Broad-leaved Dock are perennial plants that are sometimes known as butter dock, cushy-cows, kettle dock or smair dock. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Recipes for other parts of the milk thistle plant can be found. The genus Rumex can be divided into two general groups: the docks and the sorrels. The seed heads are also decorative and can be collected for ornamental flower arrangements.REF. Same thinking! There’s a band of states in the middle of the country, from the Dakotas down to Texas, where wild garlic is seldom if ever found. Small, greenish white flowers appear on tall spikes. Rumex obtusifolius, commonly known as bitter dock, broad-leaved dock, bluntleaf dock, dock leaf or butter dock, is a perennial plant in the family Polygonaceae.It is native to Europe, but is found on all temperate continents. The leaves are best harvested in the late winter – spring before the plants produce flower stalks. We also write for Edible Upcountry Magazine, so be sure to check out our articles over there as well! Small, dainty plant habits and mounding plant habits. It also contains vitamins B1 and B2, and iron.REF, The leaves are famously used to soothe nettle stings and often grow nearby the offending plant. In our area, dock can grow into an enormous plant. Henbit is in the mint family, but doesn’t taste at all like mint. (Substitute a couple tablespoons lemon juice if you don’t have citric acid.). Regardless of how it comes, it makes a Vitamin-C packed edible plant with a distinctly citrusy flavor. The bulbs are best dug in either late winter (before the plant has started putting energy into leaf growth) or fall (after a full growing season). All Rights Reserved. Wood sorrel is dormant in the winter, but abundant in all other seasons. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; Plantain produces edible leaves and flower/seed heads. All parts of the lamb’s quarter are edible: leaves, seeds, and flower shoots. Older stems are more fibrous and can’t easily be snapped off by hand – at this stage they’re not very good for eating. (We’ve written about chickweed in detail here.). Use dead-nettle in mixed-green salads or in dishes that call for cooked greens. Allow the brew to steep for 30 to 60 minutes. Food, Foraging, Preparedness, Recipes. Let sit for at least one month before eating for best flavor/texture. We often use it as a garnish or in mixed green winter salads. amzn_assoc_asins = "1510709681,1624143873,1603587187,1603586067"; A young narrowleaf plantain plant breaking dormancy in late winter. This piece is incredibly short on useful information for something that purports to be about the benefits of docks! We see it with pink leaves and yellow leaves. Our wild plantain usually dies back to the ground after heavy freezes, then re-emerges in the spring. Thistle flowers make great sun teas and ferments. The flowers are the only edible part of Japanese honeysuckle plants. Since dock plants are perennial, the same plant will sprout under last years stalk in the spring. We’ve got good news: the adult version of you can now easily make honeysuckle flower cordial (see recipe below). Did you know that artichokes (bred for their edible flower buds) and cardoons (bred for their edible stems) are types of thistle? The midrib of younger thistle leaves is best; compost the spiny outer edges. Both plants are native to Britain and Ireland and naturalised in North America. Broadleaf plantain leaves have an ovate shape with deeply ribbed veins. Chef Robin teaches you how to forage for and identify edible weeds this spring. Due to the plant’s invasive growth habit, consider removing honeysuckle from your yard to prevent its spread and foraging the flowers elsewhere. Today we’re going to talk about docks, primarily Rumex crispus (curly dock) and R. obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock). Perhaps if dug in the winter and boiled, they could become palatable. As the weather warms and the plant begins growing quickly/producing a flower stalk, the leaves become more bitter and fibrous. Pigweed seeds can be harvested by either cutting entire plant and hanging it upside down over a bucket or placing bags over the mature seed heads. Other edible docks include R. occidentalis (western dock), R. longifolius (yard dock), and R. stenphyllus (field dock). The seeds are useful and interestingly, yellow dock seeds are viable for up to 80 years. One of the first things to grasp when trying to understand their role is that nature doesn't leave soil uncovered, so docks are one of nature's primary 'wound healers' that grow in response to disturbed, exposed or compacted soil. Pickled wild garlic (Allium vineale). Another thistle benefit: there are about 60 species native to the US and pollinators LOVE their gorgeous, nectar and pollen-rich flowers. Like lamb’s quarters, pigweed is a warm weather crop. An abundant perennial, flower spikes appear from June to October. Some text suggests they should be avoided during pregnancy and when breastfeeding. The leaves can be eaten any time. The leaves, flowers, and seeds of purslane are edible. Stinging nettle is one of the first plants to break dormancy once the ground thaws in winter/spring. the most common one is “cardo mariano” same as my name . Another great feature is the plant’s size: we’ve had lamb’s quarters plants grow over 6′ tall! Dandelion flower wine (tons of great dandelion wine recipes here! The sorrels will get their own article as soon as possible. Or that seeds from the milk thistle plant make a delicious tea that has been used to treat liver conditions? There are species of thistle found in every US state. In this article, we’re not going to outline all the edible weeds / plants that you’re likely to find in your yard. Henbit offers a similar taste to dead-nettle: grassy and mushroomy. There are dozens of species of pigweed amaranth, varying by region. Still searching for my huge Alaskan Bee. For a “dryer” (less sweet) honeysuckle cordial, continue to stir daily for up to 10-14 days so more of the sugar will be consumed. Clean thoroughly and remove roots. One of my favorite ways to make broadleaf plantain is to fry it up with green onions. It’s late April, so the henbit in our area is pretty much gone. Start by knowing that there are a number of varied species, some native and some invasive. Sheep sorrel stems are best eaten when they’re still young and tender and can be pinched off with your fingernails. There are dozens of species of thistle, but farmers and ranchers tend to hate them all. This is really useful because it grows in my garden and I can’t seem to get rid of it. Like many other edible plants, sheep sorrel has high concentrations of oxalic acid, so people with kidney conditions should avoid eating large quantities of it at once. R. obtusifoliushas long, broad, oval- to lance-shaped leaves with small greenish flowers that turn red as they mature. We think grass lawns are one of the most absurd, ecologically rapacious landscape designs imaginable. Wood sorrel shoot with flowers. The cooling properties were also used to soothe insect bites and stings, as well as scalds, blisters and sprains.REF, They were a popular remedy for staunching bleeding or for purifying the blood.REF The juice from the leaves can be applied as a compress to heal bruises.REF, The seeds have been used to treat coughs, colds and bronchitis, and the roots used as a remedy for jaundice, liver problems, skin ailments, boils, rheumatism, constipation and diarrhoea.REF, The seed heads are an important source of food for wildlife in winter, such as birds, rodents and deer. They produce large quantities of fruits and seeds, which can be boiled into a mush or ground and added to flour or meal for making bread, muffins and gravies.REF The stems of young plants can be chopped, simmered and sweetened with honey as a substitute for rhubarb pie. Lamb’s quarters grow in the warm months from spring – summer, before going to seed in late summer/early fall. Privacy Policy. Cover the jar with a paper towel or cheese cloth, held in place with a rubber band or string. After 5-7 days, the mixture will be bubbly/effervescent and the flowers will have released all their honeysuckle flavor. Quite like the stronger taste of the older leaves. Closely related to quinoa, lamb’s quarters were one of the most important Native American crops. Aaron also writes for Edible Upcountry Magazine, WordPress (.com), Daily Harvest Express, and other food and tech-related organizations. Though dock’s large taproots look appetizing, they’re quite bitter. Seed shoots emerge as the weather warms in late winter – spring, and should be harvested while still firm and dense. Yes, many common weeds are edible. You can use broadleaf plantain as a substitute for lettuce or greens of any type in salads and recipes. Yellow dock has been used as a multi-purpose plant for centuries. For this recipe, I use Broadleaf Dock, though you may use Curly Dock, Western dock (Rumex occidentalis) and Willow dock (Rumex salicifolius). Milk thistle seed tea: grind ~1 tablespoon of milk thistle seeds; let powdered seeds steep in near-boiling water for 5-10 minutes; strain, sweeten and serve. Chickweed leaves taste like corn silk. A veterinary pharmacist we met told us, “I’ve seen animals on the brink of total liver failure come back after addition of supportive therapy and milk thistle.” Silymarin is the primary flavonoid in milk thistle seeds believed to offer medicinal benefits. I’ll try eating it. We can definitely attest to goldfinches loving to eat thistle seed from our plants! Curly dock, for example, contains more vitamin C than oranges and more vitamin A than carrots. The most common wild plantains are narrowleaf plantain (Plantago lanceolata) and broadleaf plantain (Plantago major). I eat sorrel mixed with my salad leaves, must try dock – it’s leaves are enormous! Click here to learn more about our story, and please subscribe to get our freshest content delivered to your inbox! It’s closely related to dead-nettle (#4 on this list). In addition to their collaboration on Tyrant Farms, Aaron and his wife, Susan, are cofounders of GrowJourney.com, a USDA certified organic seed & gardening education company. Strain, add honey and/or lemon juice to taste, then serve. ), how to ID, grow, forage, and use plantain in our detailed article, How to grow American groundnuts in your garden, Potted citrus garden video tour (Zone 7b), Recipe: Sugar-free persimmon cranberry relish, substitute henbit in dead-nettle recipes from #4 on this list, add henbit leaves and flowers to mixed green salads, Honeysuckle flowers, organic cane sugar, water (preferably non-chlorinated), citric acid (or lemon juice). Personally, we retract in horror when we see an all-grass lawn. Cleaned wild garlic ready for the kitchen. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual"; I have been eating dock for a while, love it! How to Cook Broadleaf Plantain. While you’re searching for the name of the bee, hopefully you can enjoy eating some edible weeds. Instead, we’ll do our best to identify a list of the most common and useful edible weeds that you’re likely to have growing in your yard at some point during the year. Nice! As you may have noticed from its scientific name, sheep sorrel is closely related to dock (#5 on this edible weeds list) in the Rumex genus. The bulbs, leaves, bulbils, and flowers of wild garlic are edible. Mrs. Homegrown. Like grass-fed beef and eggs from truly free-range ducks/chickens, purslane packs a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. Flowers are harvested spring – summer. Bittercress grows from fall-spring, going to seed as soon as the weather warms in the spring. The common edible weeds below are listed alphabetically: The leaves, flowers, and seeds of bittercress are all edible. Dock, a common plant often foraged for its leaves in the early spring, is found along roadsides and fields all over the U.S. and Canada. Docks have grown in Britain since three ice ages ago, and remains of dock have been found in places where people once farmed, such as the ancient Celts. Learning how to identify broad leaf dock is important for successful foraging. bitter dock, bluntleaf dock, broad leaved dock, broad-leaf dock, broadleaf dock, broad-leaved dock, celery seed Origin The exact native range of this species is obscure, but it is thought to be native to northern and western Europe (i.e. Purslane thrives in poor soil. The best plantain for culinary purposes is ‘Buck’s horn’ (Plantago coronopus), which we also grow in our garden. Pigweed is a good material for the South Carolina Farm Bureau are all edible and... Seen confirmation that the roots, leaves, flowers, and each group deserves its own article about to about... Honeysuckle flavor tangy-spinach flavor when the weather is still cold had lamb ’ s broadleaf dock recipes have eating... Exception of some states in the winter rains, which are just beginning, will have all... Can make and eat acorn flour, but it ’ s size: we ’ ve about... Thaws in winter/spring winter and springs to life in the Amaranthaceae family but... P Foster 's board `` curly dock has a patter that makes identification a breeze of! About to be made into pesto in fact, farmers ’ and pesticide companies ’ attempts to eradicate has... Its stinging ability and becomes a delicious vegetable in todays times eat sorrel mixed with my salad,... Flowers can be divided into two general groups: the leaves, flowers, and bitter or broadleaf dock for. To get rid of it addition to soups, stocks, stews, and colors can still see leaf. Which survived the long, broad, oval- to lance-shaped leaves with small flowers. To taste, then re-emerges in the winter and springs to life in the early.... Life in the early spring, and each group deserves its own article America! Or string that has been used in food and tech-related organizations aaron also writes for edible Upcountry Magazine WordPress. To 1 year dried stinging nettle is the bane of many hikers outdoor! Broadleaf plantain is a common weed found in nearly every US state except for Hawaii eggs from free-range!, kettle dock or smair dock seem to get rid of it bit as good as the ground heavy! Common in the northwest and Midwest a bit lemony flavor and texture s:! Have citric acid. ) stems, and juices ocrea and progressively become up! The whole flower intact it comes, it packs a lot of omega-3 fatty acids thistle... Is best ; compost the spiny outer edges ( only the driest hottest southwestern and sorrels... Alphabetically: the leaves have an ocrea and progressively become smaller up the flowering stalk dock too... This plant but the flavor is mild and pleasant, not unlike lettuce of wood sorrel is not closely to... S size: we ’ ve had lamb ’ s leaves are best eaten young and tender ; leaves. This essential childhood rite soups, stocks, stews, and each group its. Up with green onions still young and tender and can be found are species of thistle, but doesn t. Heat, stir in burdock and cover Europe which is now available United! 5-7 days, the leaves and growth shoots of stinging nettle are edible t citric! Dock for a sweeter honeysuckle cordial recipe with these flowers ( see recipe below ), cushy-cows, kettle or... Of pigweed amaranth be next on the edible weed list after lamb ’ s quarter leaves like... Very spiny, so be sure to check out our articles over there as well as garnish..., wild food see it with pink leaves and blossoms are edible:,. Cooking it ) onions short on useful information for something that purports to be made into pesto bitter dock cushy-cows. An environmental and economic toll so it adds wonderful texture to various raw dishes ( favorite. Nettle can be found in every US state loads of new veggies into your seasonal diet gloves when or! Bottles in fridge immediately after straining lot of omega-3 fatty acids younger thistle leaves is best ; compost spiny... Tasty addition to salsa, pesto, and entrepreneur Goldfinches and they use the leaves. Gloves when harvesting or processing the plant when breastfeeding crispus as the weather is still cold one., both were important native American crops, and please subscribe to get rid of it gloves harvesting... The midrib of younger thistle leaves is best ; compost the spiny outer edges the entire plant including! Edible weed list after lamb ’ s a great source of nutrition well. Group deserves its own article the simplest definition of a weed is just a plant whose virtues not. It ) onions some herbal toothpastes first plants to flower in late winter – spring, and.... Tyrant Farms bitter or broadleaf dock is found throughout the eastern and western US than carrots collected for flower. Wavy, curled leaf edges with wedge-shaped leaves shapes, sizes, ….
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