These plants are growing alongside Frankendael by the windy dirt path that follows the Middenweg. At first glacé everything simply looks green there but if you take a closer look there are several great edibles and a few plants that if eaten, would upset your body quite substantially.
Here is nutritious Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica), regrowing after a recent mowing.
Next is White Deadnettle (Lamium alba). Not a stinger but very useful and also nutritious.
Here’s a poisonous berry, I know it as Snowberry (Symphoricarpus alba).
Here are some of those half eaten unripe Elderberry heads, that I mentioned last week. We can only eat them safely when they are fully ripe, for birds it’s obviously another story.
Lastly today some ripening Hawthorn berries (Crataegus monogyna). If you are not sure then how’s a good time to get to know how to identify them, in readiness for the autumn harvest.
I harvested a little Russian Comfrey today, to make a healing foot ointment. The plant is still in flower but the leaves will stay contain many of the active constituents. Also plucked for the table were a small number of Daisy flowers, some Ground Elder, a little Garlic Mustard and a few pretty Pelargonium flowers. The Ground Elder itself is still on top form for foraging although it is starting to become quite dirty in some locations, due to bird droppings and general honey dew dripping from aphids and ants in the trees above. So I would say that by now it is just past it’s best and I need to focuss my forager’s attention elsewhere.
Here are today’s photos:
Here is a White Dead Nettle, setting seed alongside the Middenweg and the park. I think you can quite clearly see how the flower and now seed clusters encircle the square Labiate family stem, quite unlike the unrelated but often mistaken Stinging Nettle. Both plants are edible.
Above is German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) growing close to the White Dead Nettle.
Above is Brassica rapaWild Turnip. It smells of cabbage when picked and the flower heads remind me of broccoli. It was growing close to a patch of very young Fat Hen (Lambs quarters) but both were unfortunately in a bit of a dirty location so not for the plate tonight.ill certainly keep my eyes open for both tomorrow though as they are perfectly in season at present and make very good eating when cooked. All parts of Wild Turnip are edible and tasty.
I was also very pleased to spot some Calamints in flower for the first time this year. Photos of those tomorrow hopefully.
Today, many Burdock plants (Arctium lappa) are easily identified because their flower heads, or burs (which give the plant it’s common English name) are developing at the top of the plants. I’ve not really noticed them at this stage, before this year. They look very stately at the moment because the stems are growing fast so the large leaves are clearly separated. Burdock is a biennial plant, flowing during its second year. The roots are the part of interest to herbalists and those are only useful when harvested from first year Burdock plants. So although harvesting of Burdock roots should occur in the autumn, now is a great time to identify Burdock which is not flowering, is in its first year and may be of interest. Here’s a link to a Susun Weed article about Dandelion and Burdock.
Here is a little Elder (Sambucus nigra) shrub, growing at the base of a tall park side tree, on the Middenweg. Not a great location for harvesting the flowers. At this height you may also better understand why Ground Elder (shown yesterday in flower) is so named. Fortunately, although both are edible (at least in part), the flowers look quite different, one is a shrub and the other is clearly not.
Next, a lovely White Dead Nettle (Lamium album). This member of the mint family, which looks very like Stinging Nettle but is totoally unrelated, is still in flower and yielding a tiny sip of sweet nectar, if you pluck a flower and suck its base. This can also be done with Honeysuckle. However the Honeysuckle species is seen as poisonous and White Dead Nettle is edible. The whole plant may be enjoyed and benefitted from. This plant is good cooked like spinach.Here’s a nice recipe from a lovely blog about wild food called Eat Weeds.
Lastly today, Cleavers (Galium aparine) with flower buds clearly developing. It may still be used a tonic herb when freshly juiced or made into a tincture.