Tag Archives: Hoary plantain

365 Frankendael day 34

Thank you so much Claud Biemans for joining me on my daily walk this morning and for helping to identify some of the lovely plants which have been perplexing me for ages. Claud also shared some lovely food ideas for wild plants and was as pleased as me to see the Hoary plantain.

Here’s Claud standing next to a stately Wild Angelica (Angelica archangelica).

I’ve been watching this following herb for weeks now. It looked to me like it must be a Labiate due to the square stem cross section but which one! It smells absolutely amazing. When you brush the leaves or stem lightly, they release the aroma of just burned spices in a lightly oiled pan, ready to pop into a good Indian curry. There are so many Labiates but none I read about fitted this plant exactly. Claud knew it instantly as she has one which planted itself, into a terrace pot at home.

It is called Helmkruid in Dutch, Scrophularia nodosa in Latin and Common Figwort in English. I am still none the wiser as to what to do with it, if anything but now I’ll be finding out from a more informed position.

Also today, Pijpbloem, (Aristoloctia clematis), Birthwort in English. A very exotic looking plant which I’ll be researching. A photo another day, today I have found it is poisonous, used historically medicinally and can cause kidney failure when eaten.

Glaswort in Dutch, Parietarias officinalis in Latin and Pellitory of the wall, in English. It is plentiful in this part of the park and I hadn’t realised that this was the plant i see every day. It is a renowned medicinal herb. More later on this one, the Wiki link will give some useful information. Please see day 63 for corrected ID and details.

Veldhondstong in Dutch,
Cynoglossum officinale
in Latin and Houndstongue in English.
This is a beautiful plant, again a new one to me which seems from it’s Latin name to be a plant of historic uses.

We also looked at a member of the bedstraw family, Hedge bedstraw, Wild Sage and Teasel. I’ll take photos of those another day.

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.

365 Frankendael day 19

I’ve been walking in Frankendael with Elodie today, we found heaps of herbs, several new to us. If you’d like to join me for a herb walk there are a few spaces left for the Sunday May 27th Amstel to Frankendael walk. Here are some striking examples from today…
Solomon’s Seal looks rather like an enormous version of Lily of the Valley so I always steer clear of it. I have always thought of Lily of the valley as a poisonous plant so lethal that I shouldn’t even go near it. Upon reading about it last night I learned that it is called the herbalist’s Digitalis. It has a potent specific effect on heart muscles, causing them to open and fill more intensely and to raise blood pressure. It is thus lethal in even small doses and is not a herb of interest to me. However this arching beauty of the woods is very interesting. Solomon’s seal is used to make traditional remedies for many ailments, ranging from speeding muscle and bone healing, to menopausal symptoms, diabetes, acne and other skin afflictions. The native Americans reportedly ate it frequently.

I was thrilled to turn a corner in the wood today and be greeted by this scene:

It is difficult for a photograph to do it justice – especially one of mine! Here is Hawthorn arching over a swathe of Solomon’s seal and Wild garlic, all three in flower at the same time.

Other herbs of note today…
Below, endangered Hoary Plantain (Plantago media). I first saw this herb last year and remember not really knowing what it was, although it was obviously some kind of plantain, but wanting to hide it and protect it from trampling feet! Of course I couldn’t and this plant is well adapted to living in well trodden locations. However, should you find it, especially in a week or two when it’s flower stalk will look like some sort of moth-plant hybrid, then please don’t touch it. I hope that this one has a chance to set seed.

Chicory foliage:

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Endangered Greater burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis)