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Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Solution

I better tell you about the solution of last weeks 'wild food quizzzzzzzzz'
Greater plaintain.  Edible, but not very tasty.  Mostly used as a medicinal herb for a variety of maladies including liver cleansing.
 Colts Foot: Leaves can be cooked and eaten, but contain a liver damaging alkaloid and should therefore only be consumed in moderation.  The yellow flowers appear before the leaves and disappear again before the leaves come out.  A tea made from the flowers and leaves relieves coughs
Ribwort plantain, or as I call it, pointy-leafed plantain.  Used the same way as greater plantain.
Golden Rod.  An aromatic herb, a tea made from the flowers and leaves helps with various maladies of the water system, i.e. cistytis, kidney trouble etc.
Oak.  Acorns themselves are edible, but need repeated boiling to reduce the bitterness so are not really an option.  Young leaves are edible though and a palatable wine can be made from them
Comfrey.  Again not recommended for those with liver trouble and should be consumed in moderation.  My favourite way of eating comfrey leaves is covered in a tempura batter dipped in soya sauce.  The health benefits of this plant probably outweigh potential harm caused by alkaloids.
Wild strawberry.  Also the leaves are edible and go into my spring tart alongside primroses and sweet violets.
Some kind of mint.  Could be catnip.
Stingy nettles.  They don't need much an introduction

Fennel.  Easily confused with dill if you only see the picture.
...and....(drum roll...), well done Tanya, butcher's broom.  The berries aren't poisonous as such, but will give you the runs.  Young shoots are edible like asparagus.  The seeds can be made into a coffee substitute.  But the main function is medicinal.  The roots used internally and externally are a cure for varicose veins and hemorhoids.
 Nobody got the bonus plant, but hey, maybe it's just a useless weed, although there aren't many of them...  Well done to those who had a go.  Tanya, Mr.H and Ruth all managed 11 right!


Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

Thanks for all the answers - what a fun quiz :) My Goldenrod looks a bit different from the one you pictured...both the flowers and the leaves. It looks like:

Mr. H. said...

Very good. We introduced that ribwort plantain into our garden this year as it does not grow in our immediate area. Shame on me for not recognizing goldenrod...I have a bundle of it drying on our porch for my wife's tea .

Heiko said...

Tanya, the picture in this link is so-called Canadian goldenrod (solidago canadensis) as opposed to true goldenrod (solidago virgaurea), although they both can be used in the same way.

Mr.H, I sent you some seeds didn't I? if they came and it is what you are drying, you should have indeed recognised it! :)

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

Thanks for the info Heiko :)