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Not to very sunny flowers

2 Oct

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Usually I’m showing the Sunchoke’s tubers which grow below these plants, but now is the time to see up close their often not noticed fall flowers and to enter a pic in my wild flower page.

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Jerusalem Artichoke is a plant which stands between 5 to 9 feet tall in patches along many Maritime brooks and rivers in the early fall season. Here is a look at a few bend down stems with flowers where you may start to see them in a slightly different light.

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If you are fortunate enough to find a spot – even on an overcast day like this one where you can shine down on them at the same angle as the somewhat clouded sun behind you- then something like this will be seen.

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I like this one the most for my (wild flower page), but a few folks in the house chose one of the other pics, which would you choose?

 

Salt Marsh Flowers

10 Jul

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Glaux maritima – sea milkwort is not real common in this salt marsh and is quite well hidden in the taller grasses, I think I’ll add this one to my wild flower page as this little plant is a salt marsh favorite of mine.

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Actually dropped in here for some more male cattail flower heads in the fresh water marsh, but with a salt marsh this close a small walk in seemed a good idea and here we see some Plantago maritima – seaside plantain which I showed the long leaves of last week, now those plants have these newly emerging flower stems already starting to flower just at the bottom of the stem heads (click on for closer look), these unique little flowers are looking quite showy on this sunny afternoon. ciao

Water Avens (wild flower) beauty and beast

15 Jun

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Going to add 1 of the first 3 photos of Water Avens (Geum rivale) to my wild flower page soon, hoping maybe a few folks will enter a comment on their favorite pic of the 3.

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Another view from below. Water Avens are a member of the rose family.

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Above looking down at the leaves, pleasant to bee in this tiny wet meadow for a few moments.

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Now here is a look at a piece of a root which can be used as a beverage and medicinal ingredient. I actually tried this one last night mixed with milk and honey, anytime you try a new wild food it is a good idea to proceed very slowly, at least for the first few times you try it, so I drank less than a half cup of a diluted version of this beverage over a span of an hour, very nice flavour and pleasant in the tummy but eventually my lips began to slightly tingle for a time which can be a warning sign of an allergic reaction, my first thoughts went back to a much more intense reaction a had with a strong anti-inflammatory medication I received 15 years ago, this time only the tingling lips with no other issues arising, nevertheless this beauty isn’t going to be my cup of tea anymore. ciao

Painted Trillium (wild flower)

31 May

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Trillium undulatum is our most common Maritime Trillium.

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It is the only Trillium you’re likely to see here in a forest of conifers in boggy lowlands. I’m actually here to gather another plant of triangular form, a certain sedge that grows along the forest edges which I’ll cook as a vegetable latter today, it is a new one, so I’ll see how this pans out before writing much about it.

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I’ve walked 4 to 5 miles in this forest today and probably only seen a little over 10 of these flowers, there were no patches, just a flower here and then lots more walking before the sight of another Painted Trillium well raised above the mossy forest floor with the pleasant and far more familiar conifer trunks in the background.

A few spring flowers and greens

26 May

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This Purple Trillium is to rare in my area for me to eat its leaves.

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There is one common Trillium locally, the Painted Trillium which you could gather 1 of its 3 leafs from when it is young and shaped like a spear as shown by the Purple Trillium with its red stem behind the Dutchman’s breeches in this photo.

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Marsh Marigold is considered edible when properly cooked though I haven’t try it, in fact this is the first time I’ve noticed this plant flowering. Raw it is known to be an irritant and quite toxic.

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This plant has interesting looking flowerbuds which I will also be not eating due to its rarity here and conflicting info on the safest parts and ways to eat this plant, but again this is a new plant I have no experience with except this encounter right here. I was driving by when I noticed these earliest of bright yellow flowers which I wasn’t expecting to see in a coastal swamp.

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Now for some greens, ground elder and orpine in the basket. The tastiest part of the ground elder for my taste buds are the long leaf stems on the lightest green colored plants with barely unfolding leaves.

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Here is a nice one, this patch covers several acres and you can harvest a lot in a short time. I first starting eating this plant just last year after reading an excellent post on Alan Carter’s blog — Of Plums and Pignuts

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Usually you will find at least some of these young light greens popping up throughout the summer and right now about 30% of ground elder here is still light green with juicy leaf stems. This area I suspect started as a small patch of ornamental variegated ground elder 50 to 100 hundreds years ago as there are still a few at the front of this abandon farm yard though over time it has vastly spread and reverted to the old original which is known to be quite vigorous and a well known food and medicine for several previous centuries in Europe. Today in many places Aegopodium podagraria is consider quite invasive and very unpopular though if eaten at the right stage it suddenly appears to be a very healthy good food, funny how the goodness of nature doesn’t change, just our thoughts on it do.  ciao

Skunk Cabbage patch

19 May

DSC07776 Here is Symplocarpus foetidus, the Skunk Cabbage with its unique spathe and visible small flowers on the spadix, you can also see some tightly curled green leaves new on the scene. DSC07771 I have very little experience with the edibility of Skunk Cabbage as I vaguely recall drying a few stinky leaves over a very long time to use powdered around 30 years ago. Since I now have a wild flower page on the blog I have an excellent reason to show a few photos of these most striking plants. Here the leaves are opening up a bit more. To eat Skunk Cabbage you need to do your homework as the calcium oxalate crystals found within the plant are nothing to sneeze at, lets keep our foraged foods as painless to mouth and other bodily channels as possible. DSC07773 A good look at a few leaves, these usually are between 1 to 2 ft long. 20150518_141550 Another angle at the spathe. DSC07780 and now for a look at a slice of the Skunk Cabbage patch. I’m at the eastern most tip on N.B today and you will probably need to travel in NB a 100 plus miles SW to find another patch or even a few other Skunk Cabbages as they are kind of rare in the Maritimes provinces. ciao

Trout Lily

16 May

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I’m going to add a new page tonight on wild flowers and first up on board will be one that is quite edible from bulb to pod which is the Trout Lily —  Erythronium americanum

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Trout Lily is one of our earliest bloomers after the snow melts and today in this area of mountain birch they are starting to shine,100 yards up the road in the conifers the snow is still a foot deep. These plants are only common in a few habitats in my area being usually river floodplains and some hardwood forest.

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Here is just a flower.

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This photo shows you why the name Trout Lily was chosen for this plant due to the purplish brown and green mottled leaves which resembles a trout’s sides.

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The parts of the Trout Lily I choose to eat are the stem & unopened flower buds and also the young seed pods, the bulbs are by far the most popular edible part but I prefer not to dig them up. Some Trout Lily beds can be several hundred feet in area and can be near a hundred years old with new bulbs spreading out from the parents and taking many years before they can produce flowers and also seeds on occasion can start up new areas often planted by ants due to something tasty attached to their seeds, check out elaiosome.