Investigating new forageables

19 May

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On the floodplain of a small brook near Havelock NB I’m gathering a few edible and medicinal plants and its interesting to run into some new plants which call for some investigating. I gathered some of my favorites like the fiddleheads (above), stinging nettle and jewelweed.

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Jewelweed

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Jewelweed to be prepared to soothe insect bites, poison ivy rash or other skin irritations. (notice the water beading on the leaves)

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This plant in the center of the photo looks similar to stinging nettle which is in large patches all around here, but this plant’s leaves are much rounder and there are a few other differences so I’ll wait till it flowers in a month or 2 before I can with confidence verify this plant as Wood-nettle (Laportea canadensis) which is a plant I have some interest in.

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This plant from the carrot family is also new to me and its early growth resembles that of the very deadly poisonous Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata), but it is even more likely a new invasive plant to New Brunswick, Woodland Alexanders (Angelica sylvestris) which is edible. The jury will be out for a while on this one. I suppose I could have ruined the mystery by returning to my car to bring back a spade to check out the roots which should help in identifying though that would have been a long walk and I would prefer to identify this type of plant using only above ground field characteristics if possible, then at some point I will need to check out the root system when I have become comfortable with all the above ground field characteristics.

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Here is one of  last year’s stocks, some measured over 7 feet tall which doesn’t count either Water Hemlock or Woodland Alexanders out. I’ll be back to check these plants out as they grow, I love researching this stuff, but in the end you must be 100% certain without question before ever taking a bite of any new plant or mushroom. ciao

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