Tag Archives: Aegopodium podograria

365 Frankendael day 78

We filled our pockets with small, sour, fallen apples in the park today. We met an interesting lady with her dog, who told us about eating Walnut leaves, Hazelnut foragers and Honingclaver (literally Honey clover, Sweet Clover, Melilotus spp.). It’s fine to eat Sweet clover in small amounts but as you’ll read in the link above, it can interact with some blood thinning drugs and no one should eat too much of this plant.

Today’s photos:
Firstly, Ground elder (Aegopodium podograria) springing up in the rain soaked, just mowed outer verges of the park.  A welcome sight, I love eating this plant and much of it looks quite stale in the other areas of the park.

Next up, Burdock flowers. As mentioned before, the second year plants flower and are not useful really. But use this sight in the urban wild to help you find first year plants perhaps.

Next a beautiful Rose, growing next to Frankendael Huis. So beautiful ans so many ways to eat them.

Here’s fragrant, digestive system soother Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria). Please see the day 72 posting for further details and links.

Here’s a plant growing in the pond behind Frankendael huis which I spotted on the recent Greenpeace walks in Amsterdamse Bos. It is known as Gypsywort in Britaian and Bugelweed in the US (Lycopus europaeus). I still need to learn it’s uses but am pleased to have found it in Frankendael today.

Here is a very large, sprawling and Poisonous White Bryony (Bryonia alba), making itself at home over a big old Yew tree (Taxus baccata), also Poisonous and steeped in folklore, mainy to do with the dead.

Do you remeber that ploughed up strip of parkland, next to Restaurant de Kas?  Well this is how some of it looks today.  It seems to have been sewed with a wildflower mixture and it has begun to look quite beautiful.

365 Frankendael day 30

In just a 1 meter square patch of land, on the outer edge of park Frankendael, I found all these useful herbs today…

Medicinal Comfrey (Symphytum uplandica):

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) and Ground Elder (Aegopodium podograria) growing amongst each other:

Also, Burdock (Arctium lappa)

Poisonous member of the Carrot family, Hemlock (Conium maculatum):

Notice how similar it looks to Chervil. It has a smooth stem and leaves. It smells a little unpleasant and has notable purple staining on the stem. This is not a plant to be handled or foraged at all! This plant was used in ancient Geek executions, including that of Socrates. The Latin name means to whirl, pertaining to one of the symptoms of hemlock poisoning, vertigo. This plant is deadly poisonous and I show it here as so many foragers are keen to find plants such as wild carrot. It is very easy to confuse members of the family, especially those with finely divided leaves such a hemlock, carrot and sweet cicely
.
Lastly another beauty which is not helpful to foragers. A Labrador delivering a little fertilizer to that interesting 1m square patch of park edge!

365 Frankendael day 26

Ransoms and Garlic mustard are gradually fading and being replaced by other tasty plants. Here are a selection of today’s urban herbs in Amsterdam’s Frankendael Park.

Bugle (Ajuga reptans). Used to be known as the Carpenters herb because it is yet another plant with blood staunching abilities. It looks very similar to Sealheal but has small leaves throughout the flowers whereas Selfheal(which I am keen to find) has flowers all at the top of the stalk, without leaves between). It is a member of the mint family and has digestive uses and historic herbalists apparently used it for all manner of ailments.

Caution
I can’t find much about this from truly reliable sources but there are many Internet posts mentioning narcotic and hallucinogenic properties for pretty, evergreen Bugleweed. So perhaps you should do some research and make your own mind up on that one but it’s probably not a herb to experiment with in the family stew!

Willow. Here’s a lovely row of fast growing coppiced Salix, growing beside water at the Middenweg edge of the park.

Ground Elder (Aegopodium podograria) is growing bigger and bolder each day. I did notice a few flower heads developing on Groundelder today so now is the time to harvest if you are interested in foraging this plant. The leaves of this invasive, woodland loving perennial look quite similar to Elder and Ash tree foliage. It tastes really good and can be cooked as spinach. I noticed that my old copy of Food For Free only shows the flower of this foragers favorite. It is worth mentioning that foragers should only use such books as a source of inspiration. I use two detailed wild plant guides when identifying and getting know new plants. Foraging books are good for suggesting what to look for and how to use them.