Fiddleheads, fireweed and wintercress

18 May


Back to a small stream I noticed some nice Chaga mushrooms near a few weeks ago and today the ostrich fern fiddleheads on the stream bank were  a good size for gathering.


Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) is another plant which may be at its tastiest when it is just barely visible. If you are interested in this plant’s shoots and live in the Maritimes note the location of the large beds of showy flowers in July and much later return for the spring shoots usually in early May.


In grassy areas these small Fireweed shoots are a good challenge to see.


Here are a couple of Wintercress plants (Barbarea vulgaris), these leaves are a bit chewed up and probably survived under the snow from Dec to May. These plants look like they could bolt any second now and should be showing some yellow flowers on foot long stalks by early June. Some consider the stalk and unopened buds of wintercress its best edible parts.


More healthy looking birch trees with prime chaga mushrooms around this small stream, another hot spot. ciao


5 Responses to “Fiddleheads, fireweed and wintercress”

  1. Louise Lortie May 18, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    would you harvest Chaga at this time of the year?

    • 1left May 18, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

      The coldest months should provide chaga mushrooms with the highest concentrations of medicinal properties, gathered from other months you will still have a very tonic tea as long as the birch tree is still flowing well, able to send energy from the roots to the chaga and pass all the way to the buds or leaves. I’m currently using a chaga from last summer as circumstances left me in short supply, ideally I harvest in Jan or Feb.

    • Louise Lortie May 18, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

      thank you , i picked a lot last last fall when I discovered chaga . I will take notes of the good spots and go back next winter .

  2. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words May 18, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    I did not know you good eat ostrich fern fiddleheads
    I would think it would be rough edges?
    interesting as always 1Left
    Thank you for sharing again you wonderful world
    Take Care…You Matter…

    • 1left May 18, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

      Hi maryrose, Ostrich fern’s safe stage of edibility is a short one lasting only a week or so when the fronds are tightly curled. It is now recommended to boil these fiddleheads as there have been a few rare cases of illness by folks eating them raw, best to boil them and discard the green to reddish colored water the fiddleheads give off.

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