365 Frankendael day 4

A quick posting today… The plants are growing so quickly that it’s hard to keep up! Photos today of Stinging Nettle (Urticaria dioica, NL: Brandnetel) with Cleavers (Galium aparine, NL: Kleefkruid), Ribwort (Plantago lanceolata) and a lovely painting of White dead nettle (Lamium album) by fellow Urban Herbie, Elodie den Otter.

In the first photo you may be able to see Cleavers using our prickly friend as a support, to enable its own upward growth. For further information and links about Stinging Nettle, including a video on how to make nettle infusion, see my previous posting. These days it’s quite fashionable to eat nettles – the Italians have been doing it for millennia and nettles really do taste great – so there are hundreds of recipes around. I usually just throw a handful of chopped nettles into regular dishes such as ratatouille, it really beefs them up and to me this spring green tastes like an improved version of spinach. Here’s a link to a few recipes featured by the BBC.

Also today, Ribwort (Plantago lanceolata), which is so handy to remove the burning pain of nettle stings. As a child I was taught about Dock being used in the same way but these days I find Ribwort far more effective.

White Dead Nettle looks similar to the Stinging nettle but is in fact completely unrelated. This plant is just beginning to flower in Amsterdam and is often found growing alongside Stinging Nettle. Unlike Stinging nettle, this plant is best harvested whilst in flower. It has a multitude of traditional uses, ranging from easing sore throats to helping heal burns and eczema. Many thanks for the painting, Elodie!


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