Hogweed buds

Hogweed and cheese

Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)  Caution: Hogweed is a member of the carrot family which contains several highly poisonous species. Direct contact with the raw plant can cause phototoxic effects, so always wear gloves and long sleeves when handling.   Hogweed is very widespread, growing in meadows, hedgerows and along the edges of fields. It has large pinnate…

Baking biscuits

Elderflower biscuit recipe  (guest post from Miriam)  I baked elderflower biscuits for Jason’s Parent and Child Wild Food Walk last weekend. I adapted a recipe for lavender biscuits which I have used with various wild flowers and blossoms, including Yarrow and Meadowsweet. It uses ground almonds which gives the biscuits a lovely texture and a…

Wild Garlic Soup Ramsons Allium ursinum

Wild Garlic Soup

 Ramsons (Allium ursinum) There are around 10 different types of garlic that grow natively in Britain, but ramsons are what most people think of when they hear the words ‘wild garlic’. This is because it is easily the most common and profilic Allium species, as well as having the largest leaves, making it more usable and…

Bittercress Cardamine hirsuta weed

A peppery little plant

Hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) I did not have to go far to find this peppery little plant – I picked it from between the paving slabs in my back garden and then sprinkled it on my lunch. Hairy bittercress thrives in freshly disturbed ground, and is therefore most common in well weeded gardens, under orchards and…

GorseTag

Winter Blooms

Gorse (Ulex spp.) There is an old saying: ‘kissing’s out of season when gorse is out of bloom‘ and fortunately this is very rarely, as you can nearly always find at least a few flowers on a gorse bush. Even in the depths of winter it is still possible to find a bush in full…

BursT

Getting to know a plant

Burdock (Arctium Lappa) Whilst the ground may be frozen solid and covered in several inches in snow, there is still plenty out there of interest, although you won’t find much to eat. Even in the middle of winter when a plant has completely died back it is still worth being able to correctly identify it,…

Alexanders

An early crop of Alexanders

Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) When I went for a stroll the other day I was quite surprised to see this patch of Alexanders flourishing so early in the year. Normally I wouldn’t expect them until late February/ early March, but it appears this year they are taking advantage of the mild winter to get a head start on…