Today is Puur markt in park Frankendael and that brings lots of extra traffic to the woodland as well as the main park.
As I arrived, a fire was being put out on the edge of the woodland.
Here are a few plants which I noticed today:
Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis)
Primrose (Primula vulgaris)
Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) of last year. There are still a few seed heads on these dry flower spikes.
Wild garlic (Allium ursinum) Daslook. A nice area of it with a toxic Arum maculatum (Lords and ladies) growing proudly in the middle of this shot.
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.
Above, Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis) again. This time with a mixture of pink and purple flowers. It really stands out at this time of year.
Here is pretty wild Dog Violet (Viola riviniana).
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.
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.
The plants in park Frankendael seem to have appreciated the sunshine and warmth today…
Elder leaves surging through.
Pretty purple flowers of Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis). It doesn’t really do much for the lungs but is said to be of mild medicinal action. It’s a borage family plant so is likely to contain some harmful alkaloids.
Woodland geranium (Geranium species) above.
Not edible but very pretty, crocuses.
Primrose (Primula vulgaris), edible, medicinal but too slow at proliferating to pick at all.
Snow drops, too pretty to pick and poisonous.
Lastly today, Wild garlic (Allium ursinum) with equally edible Yellow archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon) with it’s evergreen silvery leaves and toxic Hedge parsley (Torilis arvensis).