Tag Archives: blackberry

365 Frankendael day 121

Here’s a beautiful fungus (not for foraging or eating!) and a stem of Bramble (NL: Bramen), which I saw in the park on Friday. The bramble is the mother of blackberries, which are not in the photo but are totally in season here in Amsterdam, right now. I love them, eat them straight from the bush (high up and if clean) and could take photos of them everyday but other people may get bored of seeing them, hence the fungus photo today.

Here is a photo sent to me by Youko yesterday. It’s some of the Plantain seed spikes (Plantago major) which I took over to her place when we had a lunch appointment. I think it looks really beautiful. Thanks Youko!

If you would like to send me any photos of herbs and edibles which are currently in season in town, I’d love to receive them and post some of them on the blog. I always like to see and share what other people are finding in the city but especially now as I’m away for a short time and want to keep the 365 project alive. If you have any that you think may interest others, please email them as attachments to Lynn.shore@gmail.com. Thanks you!

365 Frankendael day 73

I caught the bus to work this morning and was able to check out my usual Fat Hen (Lamb’s Quarters, Chenopodium album) and Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) collection spot. Here it is, a few days post council mowing. Fortunately there are lots of intact Mugwort plants in adjacent unmowed areas but the Fat Hen is no more. I’ll keep my eyes open for another patch of them as I really enjoy their flavour.

Here is poisonous White Bryony (Bryonia alba), flowering faintly as it grows over a hearty looking Bramble. I didn’t have much time for photos today so thought I’d look up the uses of White Bryony in one of my favorite old herbals – Mrs M. Grieve’s Modern Herbal. The link above is from a useful online version of that book. It was used historically as a purgative for people, cattle and horses. It is a powerful irritant and cathartic, i.e. it makes people throw up very violently and is not a plant to be dabbled with. I love the reference in the book to scoundrels of old, digging up the roots and placing them in moulds to allow them to grow into imitation Mandrake roots. If only their modern day counterparts had that much skill with plants! I really like the look of this plant and if I didn’t have a child or cat in my home I’d probably harvest some and use it in some way, but certainly not internally. All parts of the plant are poisonous.

365 Frankendael day 39

Today some photos without much comment or translations…
Firstly the flowers of that Poison Hemlock on the Middenweg. It’s carrot family flowers opening to the sun today.

Next, some lovely Meadowsweet foliage.

Next Ground elder, just coming into flower. Another member of the carrot family but with completely different and easily recognisable leaves.

Here is Red clover. Perfect for harvesting, if you can find it growing in a clean spot.

Lastly today, a sign that tasty berries are not too far away; A Bramble (NL: Bramen) just opening it’s first flowers of the year.

365 Frankendael day 33

I don’t think a real Herbology session would be complete without at least a mention of frogs or toads and today I had great fun listening to mating frogs in a pond within Park Frankendael. No uses for these as they look and sound so great where they are, alive, kicking and trying so hard to make tadpoles, in the water.

Endangered Hoary plantain (Plantago media) in flower. I am so pleased to see this plant in the same location, a year on from first noticing it in the park. This year there are two plants instead of just one. I really hope it will reproduce unhindered this summer. Seeing it up close and in the proximity of Plantago major and Plantago lanceolata makes it easy to see why it was named P. media. The leaves are really about midway between the widths of the other two species.

Bistort is a herb I dont use much but I found this plant which looks very similar in the park. There are several patches growing well, near Frankendael Huis and it is in the labelled herb garden. Will have to do some more investigation to check the identiy.

I also found a huge patch of well hidden nettles in a shady place which doesn’t get as many visitors as other quarters of the park. Probably a good spot for harvesting the tops.

Chickweed (Stellaria media) worth a mention today for its array of self help medicinal uses and high vitamin and mineral content. It is neglected by many (including myself) through the summer months as there is so much edible plant life to choose from. But come midwinter most foragers will be pleased to add this to a plate. At midsummer chickweed won’t be visible anymore. It will then return after the hight of summer, when this season’s seeds start to germinate. Chickweed is big and delicious at this time of year. I’ll try to take a better photo of it tomorrow.

Lovely Pelargonium foliage.

Walnut foliage. Perhaps there is a tree near you. Have a look at Boskoi or similar apps and maps perhaps.

Cats Tail (Typha spp.) Not Bull rushes but yes, edible. I mentioned these a while ago when I spotted them on another edge of the park on day 17. All parts can help make a feast but why bother when you don’t know the water quality and they do look so stunning for everyone in town to enjoy.

Lastly, a statue close to the old Frankendael house. Beautiful flowering carrot family flowers and stinging nettles at its feet.

I’m looking forward to Claud Biemans joining me in the park tomorrow. She’s going to help me identify a couple of herbs which I have no clue about, but which smell amazing and are surely worthy of some attention.