365 Frankendael day 320

image

I think that these are early leaves of Scrophularia nodosa (Common Figwort), the foliage smells like it but I haven’t noticed it this early in the year before. Time and flowers will tell.

image

Above, Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis) again. This time with a mixture of pink and purple flowers. It really stands out at this time of year.

image

Here is pretty wild Dog Violet (Viola riviniana).

image

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). Rich in protein (10%!), vitamins and nourishing minerals. This one could be harvested now but I’ll wait for slightly larger plants, to allow leaves to be left on the plant, after I harvest tender tops.

image

And this spring beauty is Petasites japonica (Japanese butterbur). I think it’s an absolutely beautiful plant and feel very fortunate to have found this one in full bloom in good light today, and in a place I could actually reach! It grows in park Frankendael in just a few places along side three water, on the steepest banks where I guess most people don’t dare to tred, consequently it survives year on year. In Japan this spring growth causes excitement in markets where it is sold as delicacy. It is used as an astma and migraine medicine but contains alkaloids which are toxic to the liver and are strongly linked with some cancers. So consumption should be limited! I have been waiting for this day for a couple of years, since wondering if those massive kidney shaped leaves of late spring/summer, in pockets along the waterways of Amsterdam which so looked like Fuki (Japanese butterbur) really were the real deal. I’m quite happy this evening. Of course not all of the big summer Fuki-like leaves belong to this plant, some are completely unrelated and inedible to say the least. That’s one reason why identification with flowers and watching a plant for it’s whole lifecycle is so important.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s