Ah, Wood Nettle a

20 Jun

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A typical foraging adventure where things just didn’t pan out as expected, a bit to early for the plant I had in mind though this new floodplain I’ve started exploring this year is turning up some interesting plants like this Wood Nettle – (Laportea canadensis).

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The greenery has grown a couple feet since my last visit, now there are many Wood Nettle peeking through the Sensitive Ferns and there are a few others like Poison Ivy I’m unfamiliar with and I’ve read it can give you a few different looks within a same area so I’ll have to be quite – rashional – in my approach so a few tools are in order like these gloves which I always carry with me anyway.

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This one I didn’t bring but it as a rule conveniently grows around plants which can irritate your skin so I’ll keep a few juicy stems of Jewelweed – (Impatiens capensis) around just in case things get uncomfortable. As it turned out I didn’t run into problems though I did place the stem juice on my skin just to stay familiar with the smell and feel of this jewel of a weed, quite refreshing.

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A few sunny light green Wood Nettles and lots of  sunny light green Sensitive Fern.

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Probably 75% of the plants in this view are tall healthy Sensitive Ferns.

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A slightly drier area and we have some large Wood Nettle plants, none have any flower parts opening up yet also in view are some Dryad Saddle mushrooms on an Elm tree straight ahead in the distance, you’ll need to click on the photo to see them.

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Now I’m a bit surprised that there a few areas on this floodplain with large colonies Wood Nettle covering several acres so I’ll gather a single leaf per plant and will have a year’s supply for tea, juices and soups in just a few hours. Back home the plant appears to have much milder stinging irritants as compared to the Stinging Nettles in the Urtica group I already know well.  The raw leaves de-activated of the stingers tasted better than the raw Urticas but raw and de-activated in fruit juice it didn’t have the same invigorating qualities as the Uriticas. There are a few medications which interact unfavorably with both Wood Nettle and Stinging Nettle so do your homework before using this food and medicinal. ciao

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3 Responses to “Ah, Wood Nettle a”

  1. navasolanature June 28, 2015 at 11:04 am #

    Good to see the forest floor full of dead nettles!

    • 1left June 28, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

      Interesting you mention dead nettles as the leaves do resemble some of the Lamium leaf photos I’ve seen. This plant though is a member of the Laportea group with most its members except this one living in the warmer parts of Asia and Central and North America, I can’t find any European Laportea in my search though there maybe some? Back to dead nettles for a second as we do have a few different Lamium which have been introduced in my province though they are rare and I’ve never ran into any yet, would like to try them someday.

      • navasolanature July 1, 2015 at 6:39 am #

        Interesting,there is so much to discover with plant varieties.

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