Trout lily green seed pods

10 Jun

Nibbled these green seed pods a few times over the years. Trout lily (Erythronium americanum) covers large areas of mature beech, maple hardwood forest here in the Martime provinces of Canada.

Most parts of the Erythronium americanum plant are listed as edible with the plant’s tiny bulbs considered by many to be the best for eating. The leaves and flowers are also edible though this plant comes with a warning that it can be emetic if eaten in large quantities. I find Trout lily beautiful while in flower, but today I notice it is also quite captivating while in this green seed pod stage.

My search for info on the historical use of Erythronium americanum’s green seed pods has come up empty, though I also looked for other members of Erythronium which has several in NA and Asia and it appear one out in Western Canada Erythronium grandiflorum known as the Avalanche lily has some record of food usage of the green seed pods. This was encouraging news as these pods seem like a nice way to harvest without too much negative impact on these plants.

Another photo of these beauties in a pleasant woods, very soon in this location there will be little trace of this plant as it is well known as a spring ephemeral. As for the green seed pods edibility I did consult the most knowledgeable wild food expert I know of and they agreed this is most likely  a safe part of this plant to consume in small amounts.

Here we see an ant’s eye view of a seedpod towering above. Although the main way trout lily spread in a forest is by runners, ants do help also when the seed pods breakdown on the ground surface, ants then have a tasty nutritious meal attached to the seed and with a natural appreciation plant some seeds during their picnic.

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Canadian Wood Nettle

3 Jun

Out on the flood plain gathering some Laportea canadensis (Canadian wood nettle) as you can see in the basket with these scattered plants of wood nettles, are some tiny sprouting jewelweed and a few beginning strings of groundnuts and then your eyes will reach the green line of no longer fiddlehead stage ostrich ferns. Lots of energetic plants a glow here today.

Closer look at Canadian wood nettle.

Back at home and in the pot are the young solid stems of the wood nettles which are a healthy & tasty food. I should mention at this time you can actually snap the tender stems of (YOUNG) Canadian wood nettle with your bare hands without receiving any nasty stings but quite soon that will all change so beware if you’re out there.The wood nettle leaves I gathered were boiled separately and after dried and powder and will later be used as flour or added to soups, smoothies, etc

Clintonia borealis

12 May

Clintonia borealis has the common name of Bluebead lily, take a moment to look at these striking plant standing above and also if you zoom closer you can see some smaller plants poking through the snow with narrow green points. This wild plant’s leaves taste similar to cucumber when fresh, I’m not fond of this plant cooked as a pot herb though.

Bluebead lily can be a very common plant in some eastern forest. I collected a tiny fraction of what was in this area with the thought of finding some new uses for these spring shoots besides cutting the fresh leaves up in salads, so time to go home for some culinary adventuring.🦉

We’re Back

7 May

It has been over 18 months since my last post on wild foods so yes we are back as I found the sight of these peeled Japanese Knotweed shoots to pleasant not to share with you.

In my view and even with my phone camera pics these shoots appear quite appealing even unpeeled. My first experience with J K shoots goes back about 40 years with a not so tasty pie which inspired many years of little use of this abundantly available spring edible. Today peeled, blanched and then soaked and later on cooked with 3 apples into an applesauce it has suddenly become a wonderful food as well as a photogenic spring shoot, a big thank you from me has to go out to those experimential folks sharing info on wild foods at this time. Japanese Knotweed is probably also quite nutritious as well with at least some resveratrol but not near as much as it has in this plants fall roots. if you shied away from J K shoots it may be time to give them another try says eye. 🦉

MARI(matsutake)TIME 3

16 Oct

Last post on Matsutake for 2018 is on the not so obvious Maritime matsutake appearing in wet areas sometimes with what seems young spread out conifers or possibly older stunted trees with abundant acidic loving shrubs.

You have to wander around and look close to find these ones. Oh, I see some light sandy brown in there.

Now bend down.

It takes someone who is not in much of rush to enjoy gathering these lovely Maritime Matsutake in knee to waist high shrubby areas, great fun for some of us though. Ciao

MARI(matsutake)TIME 2

15 Oct

Different Maritime forest terrain then the last post, but under this mixed forest we have once again some nice Matsutake mushrooms.

I like this photo as much of the mushroom caps are covered on all 3 of these mushrooms yet from 30 meters you know its Matsutake by the size of the rounded cap and the way the cap has a subtle illumination cloudy or sunny its there.

Here we see on the right half some fully open Matsutake the gills on these ones will be turning brown soon. The mushroom you see flip over gills up is a huge one measuring 28 cm across and weighing 1 1/2 lbs, oh what a tasty Matsutake it was.

MARI(matsutake)TIME

13 Oct

A few photos to share on my favorite fall Tricholoma mushrooms, the matsutake.

Great year thus far for T magnivelare and T ducliolens:)

Fall is forest fungi time

8 Oct

Quick post on a few of the most interesting (to me) wild mushrooms I gathered today in my neck of woods near Moncton NB. Busy foraging these days so not much identification details to pass along, I’m basically just showing off my good fortune by laying these natural wonders out for you to see in a timely fashion with their names listed below. You will need to enlarge to get a slightly better look at the individual mushrooms in this not so great photo. The wild mushrooms available in the Fall can vary greatly from day to day so next week could feature 12 different quality edible mushrooms quite easily. Enjoy your Fall foraging but be careful out there, a lot of larger creatures are on the move and some of them have arms 🙂

1 o’clock – Catathelasma imperiale

2 o’clock – Catathelasma ventricosum

3 o’clock – Ramaria rubripermanens

4 o’clock – Clitopilus prunulus

5 o’clock – Tricholoma dulciolens

6 o’clock – Hedgehog mushroom

7 o’clock – Entoloma abortivum

8 o’clock – Honey mushroom

9 o’clock – Hericium americanum

10 o’clock – Lobster mushroom

11 o’clock – Suillus glandulosus

12 o’clock – Hypsizygus tessulatus

If you like you may take a wild guess on the identity of some of the small wild mushrooms in the center of the clock. ciao

Real good Ramaria

16 Sep

Here is a look at a young Ramaria rubripermanens with very bright colored branch tips. This is our Maritime version of the Clustered Coral mushroom and is now one of my favorite mushrooms for eating and is rated as a choice edible for good reason.

Slightly older mushroom with branches extending some and the tips are fading a bit.

Days later the branches can be antler-like and the tips more faded.

Mature Ramaria rubripermanens are much more difficult to identify if there are no young mushrooms also present beside them. One clue that you are gathering R rubripermanens on older faded out mushrooms is the (base) of the mushroom often have some bright red coloring on both young and older mushrooms. We do have a few other Ramaria in the Maritime provinces with some of them having questionable edibility so gather your big coral mushrooms with care.

They can be quite large.

Closer look, some claim only the young mushrooms are good eating, I don’t notice much difference in taste between young and mature R rubripermanens, you do need to make sure the base and branch flesh is solid, white in color and not watery or mushy.

These mushrooms can be rare in many areas in the world so if you have some around you can count yourself fortunate. This mushroom is being studied these days for it’s antimicrobial properties and may become more known as an important medicinal mushroom to go along with being also a choice wild edible mushroom, kind of a nice combo:)

Water Pennywort

18 Aug

Over the winter I remember reading about the interesting medicinal and edible Asian plant Gotu kola and was hopeful of taking some time this year to find our close Maritime relative Hydrocotyle americana. One pleasant thing about foraging is being reminded of little projects while foraging for other things as wild mushrooms are my main focus today.

Here we have Water Pennywort on the ground with the mint family member Bugleweed towering above. I can’t give any info from my own experience on eating or beverages made from Hydrocotyle americana so I must leave this as just another interesting little plant not well known to share as the more familiar we become with these types of plants, (this one was found on an old woods road in Kent county NB) the more we will be willing to protect them from human over indulgence in our surroundings. We can be conscious of our own gatherings and be aware the impact of some of the other ones going on around us.