Foraging Finds, Week Ending April 15

I didn’t find as many woodsy wild edibles as I had hoped this week, but the ones I did find were very precious.

First and perhaps foremost for me – I finally located stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)! For positive identification just touch it gloveless. I dare you. Or you know, kneel in a patch of it, not realizing it can actually sting you through the lightweight slacks you wear while foraging. (Folks, don’t try this at home!)

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Virginia spring beauty, or springbeauty (Claytonia virginica). While this dainty flower does have an edible underground tuber or “corm”, collecting it kills the plant. Because they have such a short time to grow and flower in the spring (hence being a “spring ephemeral”) it is hard for them to recover from overharvesting. If you only find a small patch, please leave them be.

Virginia spring beauty (Claytonia virginica)
Virginia spring beauty (Claytonia virginica)

Last but not least, I found a patch of yarrow leaves (Achillea millefolium). Maybe these don’t really count as a wild edible because yarrow is cultivated as well. However, it’s my only other “new” find this week so I’ll take it!

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)


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