Nostoc marbles in Tromsø

This is one of the strangest foods I’ve eaten.  Nostoc plums (Nostoc pruniforme) or sjøplomme in Norwegian (meaning Lake Plums) is a genus of cyanobacteria and an endangered species. It has been introduced in a small pond in the middle of the Arctic-Alpine Botanical garden in Tromsø from Slettnes Nature Reserve, which is one of the northernmost capes on mainland Norway, east of Nordkapp.  Director of the garden, Arve Elvebakk, persuaded me that I should eat these :) More or less tasteless jelly balls! Two garden visitors who passed by as I was eating them were less convinced of their edibility though! Another species added to my life list…..
I actually mention cyanobacteria in my book because a Nostoc species lives symbiotically with Gunnera tinctoria (p. 177) and helps it fix nitrogen. See what it looks like on this page: http://srgc.org.uk/wisley/2007/061207/log.html

More on the edibility of Nostoc species here:  http://www.eattheweeds.com/nostoc-nasal-nostalgia-and-edible-too-2

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Edibles & ornamental plants

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