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.firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks you!
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.
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.