Rice lily or riceroot (Fritillaria camschatensis) is a great hardy edimental, and exclusive root vegetable, although don’t expect large yields. The small (but many) sweet tasting tubers often lie right on the surface all winter! One of the hardiest plants found in Western North America from Oregon to Alaska, Northern Japan and the Russian Far East…and quite a common ornamental, grown for its almost black flowers (I’m still trying to establish the yellow flowered variant shown here in Gothenburg Botanical Gardens). See also my blog post Riceroot and Hog Peanuts (http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=480). It’s currently in full flower, so here’s a few pictures of my biggest expanding patch!
AROUND THE WORLD IN THE EDIBLE GARDEN; Part 3 – Southern Europe and the Mediterranean countries Inviting you to the third in a series of dinners from Malvik’s Edible Garden where we “forage” from different parts of the world! If you’ve visited countries in south east Europe you will no doubt have eaten the delicious vegetable pies like Greek spanakopoita, Turkish börek, Italian Torta pasqualina, Bulgarian banitsa and others. Inspired by these and not wanting to make the time consuming to make filo pastry, we made a 100% wholegrain rye/barley quiche like dish with large quantities of the following perennial greens:
From left to right (from top left) : Allium ursinum (ramsons; ramsløk) Rumex patientia (patience dock; hagesyre) Urtica dioica (stinging nettle; brennesle) Silene vulgaris (bladder campion; engsmelle) Rumex scutatus (Buckler-leaved sorrel; Fransksyre) Rumex acetosa (sorrel; engsyre) Myrrhis odorata (sweet cicely; Spansk kjørvel) Malva alcea (hollyhock mallow; rosekattost) Melissa officinalis (lemon balm; sitronmelisse) Scorzonera hispanica (Scorzonera; scorsonnerot, svartrot) Asparagus officinalis (asparagus; asparges) Humulus lupulus (hops; humle) Tragopogon pratensis (Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon; geitskjegg) Taraxacum “Moss-leaved dandelion” Campanula trachelium (nettle-leaved bellflower; nesleklokke) Brassica oleracea “Daubenton variegated” (perennial kale; flerårige kål) Allium zebdanense (white flowers) from Lebanon (with garlic and chili and imported olives)
I’ve been unable to find any ethnobotanical documentation that native americans used Trilliums (wakerobins) for food. They were rather considered as medicinal plants (see http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=trillium) and was also thought of as a poisonous plant by some tribes. The roots do however contain saponins. Nevertheless, it is used and considered to be edible (cooked as greens and used in mixed salads by modern day foragers) and this is also mentioned in some foraging books. It is a protected plant in some areas and I do not recommended to harvest it from the wild as it is vulnerable to overharvest as it takes many years to reach the flowering stage.. I started collecting Trilliums as potentially interesting edimentals, and have eaten a few leaves (as reported the taste is a bit like sunflower seeds) and I use flowers to decorate salads. I would never be able to eat a lot of it anyway and wouldn’t do so either to be on the safe side and don’t recommend others do so either.
We’re now at the height of Trillium flowering season here, so here’s a few pictures taken on 1st June. Please let me know if you see any wrongly identified plants (there may well be hybrids in here!)
Last night we made a green pea soup and apart from the Hablitzia (Caucasian spinach / stjernemelde), I used perennial vegetables growing in a wild part of the garden. With little or no help from me there’s a bounty of wild edibles in this area under wild hazels (Corylus avellana) and this made for a delicious pea soup with masses of greens. Campanula latifolia is documented as used in spring soups in the 16th century in my area in Norway and Heracleum shoots are also a tradional soup ingredient, in particular Russian borsch now thought of as a beetroot soup was originally made with hogweed shoots.
I was working at Væres Venner Community Garden yesterday and noticed a deformed (fasciated) dandelion flower. This can be caused by a range of factors including random genetic mutation, virus and bacterial infections. Damage to the plant’s growing tip and exposure to cold and frost can also cause fasciation and with the very cold weather after a mild start to spring is probably the cause in this case (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasciation). Searching around I discovered two other fasciated dandelions! This phenomenon is rare, but I have seen it before a few times. However, I’ve never seen more than one plant affected within a small area before! I photographed each of the plants below and fantasising about making fascinating fasciated dandinoodles* or rather dandi-lasagne as the flower stems are flattened :) Unfortunately, this mutation doesn’t seem to return in the following year in dandelions..
*Dandinoodles (løvenudler) are made from quickly boiling the flower stems perferably before the flowers open and just mixing with butter or olive oil:
Fasciated Plant #1 had twin or siamese flowers:
Fasciated Plant #2 had 6 flowers on the one stem and a twisted flower stem! Note that the fasciated stem is shorter than the normal flower stems:
Fasciated Plant #3 was different again, this time a single distorted flower (cresting):
My Taraxacum albidum is looking good at the moment! The seed for this came from the Scottish Rock Gardening Club seed list 2016/17 (SRGC3660) and I planted two plants here. However, they look different in that the leaf shape is different (T. albidum is described as having deeply indented leaves) and only one has hairy scapes (as T. albidum). I suspect some crossing has been going on. T albidum is itself a hybrid between white flowered Taraxacum coreanum and Taraxacum japonicum.
AROUND THE WORLD IN THE EDIBLE GARDEN; Part 2 – Korea Inviting you to the second in a series of dinners from Malvik’s Edible Garden where we “forage” from different parts of the world! We don’t often eat oily food, but now and again its great and this meal was exceptional! From top left and clockwise: Ligularia fischeri Dystaenia takesimana (Giant Ulleung celery, seombadi) Aralia cordata (udo) (blanched for dipping and green for tempura) Phyteuma (should have been japonica, but I used nigra; svartvadderot) Allium victorialis subsp platyphyllum (victory onion; seiersløk) Aralia elata (devil’s walking stick, fandens spaserstokk) Hosta “Frances Williams” Aruncus dioicus (var kamtschaticus?) “Kneiffii” (a first for me!) (Goatsbeard, skogskjegg…I don’t recommend using a lot of this until we know more of its constituents) Hemerocallis dumortieri (flower shoots) (dayliliy, daglilje) Parasenecio hastatus (also the first time I ate this one and it was delicious, but I wouldn’t advise eating a lot: see here http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=23845) Matteuccia struthiopteris “Jumbo” (ostrich fern; strutseving) Taraxacum albidum and to the right of this: New Zealand spinach and Serratula coronata (also a first for me; the subspecies insularis is eaten in the Far East) Oplopanax horridus (North American species substituting Asian species Oplopanax japonicus or Oplopanax elatus) More information with the pictures!
A few days ago it was snowing, today it could reach 20C for the first time this year! And the warmer southerly winds has brought in a new wave of seasonal migrants….it’s always nice to hear my first Icterine warbler (gulsanger) and I also heard my first cuckoo (gjøk)!
And a brambling (bjørkefink) was again singing its nasal song in the garden: