Wild Edible Walk, In Pictures

General Posts, Herb, Identification, Look-Alikes, Medicinal
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We had such a nice time on our wild edible walk last Sunday! Thanks to everyone who came. What a great group of interested people who had so much to contribute.

Here are the Black Locust Flowers that we sampled (taste like honey):

Black Locust Flowers

Black Locust Flowers

The mulberry trees are filled with mulberries. They are still green, but by June should be purple, juicy and sweet:

Early Mulberries

Early Mulberries

Last fall we made sumac lemonade for our wild edible walk (you can see the post about it on our Birch Center blog here.) Here are the early staghorn sumacs (still green):

Early Staghorn Sumac (will turn red in the fall)

Early Staghorn Sumac (will turn red in the fall)

The flowering garlic mustard (which is resurging, another crop of green heart shaped leaves are sprouting up just like it’s early spring again!) This is classified as an invasive weed, and many parks spend days pulling it up. So if you want to make pesto with it, I’m sure no one would mind. (Here is an article I wrote for Natural News about Garlic Mustard, it has the pesto recipe at the end.) You’ll also be able to harvest garlic mustard with us and make vinegar for yourself and sample pesto at our Wild Edible Workshop, coming up Saturday, May 30. Check out Wild Events for more information.

Flowering Garlic Mustard

Flowering Garlic Mustard

Here’s the soft furry mullein. The leaves are used medicinally to strengthen the lungs:

Mullein Leaves

Mullein Leaves

Here’s one of my favorite herbs, mugwort, already a couple feet tall:

Mugwort

Mugwort

Here is a crown vetch flower. This one is white, and looks a bit like white clover (but this is much bigger.) The purplish variety is the same color as red clover (we’ll post pictures as they flower.) The crown vetch is poisonous, so be careful not to confuse them. The leaves are very different (see picture below):

Flowers:

White Crown Vetch (Poison)

White Crown Vetch (Poison)

Crown Vetch Leaves:

Crown Vetch Leaves (Poison)

Crown Vetch Leaves (Poison)

Compare to Clover Flowers and Leaves:

Red and White Clover, Leaves and Flowers (Edible)

Red and White Clover, Leaves and Flowers (Edible)

Finally, here is the Japanese Knotweed. What a difference one month makes! We still found some shoots, though, and were able to sample it. One of our participants shared that he steamed them like asparagus in the early spring and found them to be tender and delicious. He also mentioned that raw foodie David Wolfe says that Japanese Knotweed is the number one source of anti-oxidant reversatrol. David Wolfe also suggests that the reason Japanese Knotweed is so invasive right now is because it is so good for us. He mentions it as a possible treatment to Lyme Disease.

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed

Question: Have you tried any new wild edibles yet? (Or any tried and true ones you’d like to share?) Please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks!

~ Melissa

  • Bdmurray

    I went on an edible walk in summit county 2010 it was great and would like to find others. any idea where to find them. I found the one I went on in the news paper I think but have never seen any more. can you help?
    Dot

  • If you remember who gave the walk you went on you can contact them directly and ask if they lead any more walks or know of any more walks. Also check with city, state and county parks, they often run programs throughout the season and often include edible plant hikes.
    I hope that helps!
    ~ Melissa

  • hey no problem for the recipe. Japanese knotweed also contains the wonder chemical Resveratrol. With the same claims that have been made about red wine and grape skins, the ingredient has been praised for its ability to make people looking younger for a long period and has also been recommended for muscle growth, anti-aging, high energy level, heart ailments, diabetes, longevity, weigh loss and the like. what a magical plant it is :o)

    In reference to the american violet question - i found this one online!

    36 violets
    1 egg white
    1/2 cup sugar
    8 to 10 drops violet extract (optional)
    Purple food coloring (optional)

    Its to make crystalised voilets

    Any more enquiries just ask. Thanks

  • Nils

    So is crown vetch edible at all? I Met a group of people a while back who were picking it, saying it was a delicacy with lamb. I picked some and am curious if I have the right plant.
    Their description was oval shaped leaves, and a purple-ish root system.

  • JFS

    Securigera varia (Crown Vetch) is quite toxic to most organisms, including people.

    However, I find references to Vicia Cracca (tufted vetch, aka cow vetch aka bird vetch) being edible for ruminants, birds, reptiles, and theoretically/historically, humans: http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant... and I'm reading a not-very-well researched-or-referenced coffee table book that says "vetch" used to be a staple crop that has fallen out of disuse, but whether that's common vetch or tufted vetch, I'm not sure). The book is called "Edible, an illustrated guide to the world's food plants," and vetch has no more that that one mention.

    In general, the plants for a future database seems like a good thing to google or bookmark.

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