365 Frankendael day 265

There are still lots of edible plants around in Amsterdam. Here are just a few…



Hairy bittercress.


Medicinal, astringent, bruise evaporating Witch hazel is now in full bloom. I usually buy distilled witch hazel but may try tincturing some this winter. This is my favourite sign of early spring. Such fascinating flowers!


Pain controlling Willow. Heaps of the just cut withies are lying around at the moment. If they are still I’m the park on Monday I’d like to make herb drying trays from some, with my apprentice group.



I’m looking everywhere for Sweet Cicely at the moment. It’s usually the first carrot family member to flower in the New Year and I never usually have trouble funding it in Amsterdam. I found lots of toxic Hedge Parsley today – again! A few plants are in flower, a few were quite red stemmed, maybe baby Hemlock. None smelted safely of aniseed our had the characteristic leaf. Where are you Sweet Cicely?


The above photo shows Hedge parsley and an Elder with plenty of young leaves. Our cold weather is yet to come.


Inedible but a pretty symbol of early spring – my first Snowdrops of 2013, in Park Frankendael today.


And this crazy sort of Cabbage looking perennial plant, making a.breakthrough from the soil. They grow where the Fuki relatives (a type of Butterburr) grow in the park. I’ll keep a close eye on them. Last year fellow Urban Herbie, Youko and I missed our chance to properly identify them, because they flower so early. All members of that family contain some toxins but highly regarded Fuki is harvested really young in Japan, cooked in a specific way and I feel for myself at least, that a small amount of toxin intake is worth it for the taste – but only if it’s really Fuki! Time, a magnifying lens and several guided books, will tell.

Loads of other herbs are around in Amsterdam but I was too busy to photograph more of them today. Look out for Comfrey, Ground ivy and Chickweed in particular.


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