Last weekend I went for a walk. Is that odd? No! But I was blessedly alone. Which is odd. I am never alone.
I’m learning that I do need alone time and relax time to thrive. To be better at well, everything. I’m learning to take charge and implement more time for quiet and reflection. I need more of it in my life.
What better way to spend a blissful cloudy afternoon than on a stroll through nature?
I’m currently reading a good book on foraging by Lisa M. Rose called Midwest Foraging: 115 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Burdock to Wild Peach. So I thought it would be good practice to look over the area where I live and see what plants I could find and name and if they were edible or not.
I didn’t harvest any of these plants. Most of them were near the road (not especially good to harvest from) but others I believe were on private property. So I admired from a distance 🙂 It’s very important to respect private property when foraging.
Below are some pictures of 10 plants I came across along with their name, family, habitat and whether and what parts are edible. Ready? Lets go!
Yellow Wood-sorrel is a member of the wood sorrel family and is related to the Wood-shamrock and Pink Wood-sorrel. It is a very common, delicate looking plant.
Edible: leaves, flowers, immature seed pods
Elderberry is a member of the honeysuckle family. There isn’t a whole lot of it in our yard but I’ve enjoyed watching this one flower and bloom. It appears the birds are loving it so I just let it be.
Edible: flowers and ripe berries only (no stems). The berries are usually cooked and sweetened as they are rather bitter.
Sheep Sorrel is from the buckwheat family. This was the first plant I came across..right underneath my toes on the porch step.
Edible: leaves (tart) and seeds
This plant is from the Touch-me-not family.
Note: this plant is not edible but the crushed roots make a nice poiltuce of sorts that will help relieve itchy skin. I tested this out once and it did indeed soothe my skin.
Wingstem is from the sunflower family. (Asteraceae). This shouldn’t suprise me as the plant was very tall. Finding the name of this plant was quite tall. It wasn’t in any of my books. Finally I was able to find some websites with information. This was definitely one of my favorites.
These beautiful cream/yellowish flowers hail from the rose family (Rosaceae). It wasn’t very widespread and it was difficult to get a picture of. Next time I’ll bring my better camera.
This common plant is a member of the legume (Leguminosae) family and pea subfamily. I’ve always thought it was a cheery little plant and the name is fun to say as it rolls off the tongue.
Habitat: Damp/Wet Soil, Visible from Roadside
Joe-pye-weed is from the Composite family, Thoroughwort tribe (Eupatorieae). It is very tall and has pretty purplish-pink flowers that were just beginning to open up.
Some of the plants further away appeared to be very popular with the butterflies as I spotted at least 2 yellow Tiger Swallowtail butterflies congregating on the flowers. You can just barely see one in the 3rd photo.
Edible: most parts classified as edible by ediblewildfood.com.
From the cat-tail family. Aren’t you shocked?? This is a very familiar plant that usually is found in ditches and on the outskirts of lakes, creeks, etc.
Edible: certain parts are edible in springtime.
Towards the end of my walk, I spotted this wild apple tree peeking out from the edge of the woods.
Do you enjoy going for nature walks? Have you seen anything interesting lately?
All photos were taken by me.
1. A Guide to Field Identification: Wildflowers of North America (1984), by Frank D. Venning