Tag Archives: Shepherds purse

365 Frankendael day 62


Some common “weed” plants have the most subtely beautiful flowers and I think that Ribwort (Plantago lanceolata)  is one such plant.  Many of you already know of the merits of this wonderful first aid herb and I hope that more appreciate how pretty the flowers are.  I think they ar quite incredible creations and couldn’t resist another Ribwort photo today on an outer edge of the park.  There are many Plantago species growing here. Another notable one which has settled in my roof pots is Plantago major. It has broad leaves and it not as highly prized for it’s medicinal qualities but it none the useful.  Douzens of seedlings have taken root in my pots and they are very useful for first aid. Yesterday I was harvesting rooftop Gooseberries and Blackcurrants with my daughter and we chewed on and a leaf or two before gently rubbing the sap onto her berry bush scratches.  It worked a treat and was much quicker to apply and work physically (and mentally) than any remedy I have inside of the house.

If Ribwort and making remedies at home interests, you may like to join me for a small workshop near the next New Moon.


Here is Greater celandine, a wonderful plant with poisonous/potent orange sap, which can often help with unwelcome skin growths, such as warts and corns.  Today I noticed lots of Greater Celandine setting seed and I look forward to collecting some when the time comes.  Below is a lovely picture of the plant drawn and painted by Elodie some time ago. Sometimes paintings tell more about the spirit of a plant than photos ever can.  I need to make more time to sit and draw plants, maybe it’s something you would like to try too?  Drawing a plant requires that you sit with it for a while, that you and it breathe each other in and out and from that you can learn a lot.

Lastly today, a mixed salad in scrub-land beside the park.  I love this untended patch and I’m pleased it gets little maintenance as the wild edibles love it!  Here you may be able to see Chickweed and Ground ivy growing together with some Shepherd’s Purse.  All three, tasty and nutritious.  The main thing that worries me about harvesting from such locations is not really knowing what is in the soil. You can never really know for sure but some scrub-land such as this may be used for tipping unwelcome materials.  I keep that in mind when I choose to harvest or not.

365 Frankendael day 53

A busy day today, including a lunchtime reconnaissance mission to Amsterdamse Bos, in preparation for some private herb walks. So just a quick look at the herbs on the edge of the Frankendael this evening…

Here is a mixture of Fat Hen (Chenopodium album), Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) and Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) growing together on neglected ground.

Here is Ground Elder (Aegopodium podograria)growing amongst some purple stained carrot family foliage. It may be Knotted Hedge Parsley but I need to check it carefully another time and in any case it’s not very interesting due to the similarity to very poisonous members of that family. There is one look a like of this plant, Sweet Cicely which I enjoy in the very early spring. It’s strong aniseed scent when the leaves are crushed is unique.

365 Frankendael day 48

Here is a very tasty and edible salad herb which I hardly ever use but is quite easy to find in Amsterdam and many other cities. It is called Shepherds purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) and is well adapted to grow alongside roads, paths, grassy and waste areas. You can only really see the seed pods on the long flower stem in this photo, it is mixed in with another plant (White mustard). I found this patch alongside the Vomar entrance of Park Frankendael, right beside a path. It is very easy to identify, with it’s signature heart shaped seed pouches. The leaves quite slim and plain looking but are peppery tasting and are very good when picked young and added to a mixed salad. It has been found to be high in Vitamins C and K and has many stoic applications.


Next today is a mixture of mature (and thus not to tasty) Plantain (Plantago major) leaves and White mustard. These were growing alongside the Shepherds purse. So all in all the potential for quite a tasty salad, from this small green patch of land between the park and road.