Tag Archives: Urtica dioica

365 Frankendael day 322

Here is a sign of things to come…

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Tiny Stinging nettle plants popping up in pavement cracks. There are perennial and annual nettles in Amsterdam. Both are useful but I find the perennials stronger and more potent. Both are rich sources of nutrients which can boost iron levels, energy levels and calcium levels – and a host of other useful things!

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 30

In just a 1 meter square patch of land, on the outer edge of park Frankendael, I found all these useful herbs today…

Medicinal Comfrey (Symphytum uplandica):

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) and Ground Elder (Aegopodium podograria) growing amongst each other:

Also, Burdock (Arctium lappa)

Poisonous member of the Carrot family, Hemlock (Conium maculatum):

Notice how similar it looks to Chervil. It has a smooth stem and leaves. It smells a little unpleasant and has notable purple staining on the stem. This is not a plant to be handled or foraged at all! This plant was used in ancient Geek executions, including that of Socrates. The Latin name means to whirl, pertaining to one of the symptoms of hemlock poisoning, vertigo. This plant is deadly poisonous and I show it here as so many foragers are keen to find plants such as wild carrot. It is very easy to confuse members of the family, especially those with finely divided leaves such a hemlock, carrot and sweet cicely
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Lastly another beauty which is not helpful to foragers. A Labrador delivering a little fertilizer to that interesting 1m square patch of park edge!